Perhaps only the most optimistic among us would have predicted back in August 1994 that Andrew Corrick, the new owner of The Cherry House restaurant in Werrington, would be busier than ever 25 years on.
With around 60% of restaurants failing in their first year and 80% by the fifth, there has to be something special about any restaurant reaching its silver anniversary.
Under the control of Chef/Patron Andrew, formerly Head Chef at The Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair, the restaurant offers visitors fine British dining with a respectful nod to classic French in a 400 year old quintessential English country cottage built using local stone. Located just three and a half miles from the hubbub of the city centre, thankfully The Cherry House in its village setting feels a million miles away.
Andrew took over the restaurant with its three separate dining areas and lounge having enjoyed exciting but tiring times in some of the best kitchens across the south of England, including The Hyde Park Hotel, The Norfolk in South Kensington, Bracewells at The Park Lane and learnt the nouvelle cuisine of Frederick’s in Islington, where a Monday lunchtime service would be considered quiet at 70 covers, and where every evening would mean cooking for 170 of London’s very well-heeled.
“I never set out to own a restaurant, I just wanted to improve as a chef and cook very, very good food for people. I think it was the politics of business, in particular large hotel groups that steered me towards going solo.
“These days I want to ensure we maintain the excellent reputation we enjoy at The Cherry House; I would rather have a restaurant consistently full of happy diners than awards and accolades on the walls,” said Andrew, who has a long-serving team front of house, now ably managed by son Jordan, and a small number of chefs working alongside him.
So what does Andrew think is the key to the success of The Cherry House?
“A whole mix of things and people, definitely lots of hard work, a great team in the dining rooms, kitchen and behind the scenes too. Our food has evolved over the course of time and in my opinion, got even better and while “local” and “seasonal” have become fashionable adjectives for many a menu, we’ve been producing dishes featuring fresh, quality ingredients alongside expert preparation and cooking for 25 years.
“But ultimately all that means nothing without your customers and their continuing loyalty; we have been extremely lucky in that respect.”
To mark this special anniversary, The Cherry House menu for the week commencing August 13 will feature some of the most popular dishes over the last 25 years. Andrew expects a very busy week but is offering diners 25% off all food from Tuesday (13th) through to Friday (16th) so it might be as well if you make your reservation sooner rather than later.
Contact The Cherry House on 01733 571721 or at www.cherryhouserestaurant.co.uk