A couple who breathed new life into a village pub celebrate a year in charge today - knowing they are now online travel site TripAdvisor’s #1 in Peterborough.
Stuart Johnson and wife Kirstene reopened the rundown and neglected Golden Pheasant in Etton on March 1 last year after a month-long refurbishment - when not even the Beast From The East could stop them.
And they will mark the first anniversary tonight with a “White Party” - with the pub decked out in dozens of white balloons and guests dressing at least 50 per cent in white.
“To say it has gone better than we could have expected is quite an understatement,” said Stuart.
“It has been hard work, don’t get me wrong, we work long hours and only close on a Monday. But we have a great team here and it has been worth it, especially when as of a couple of days ago we are #Number 1 on TripAdvisor.
“That is incredible when you think we were ranked about 190th when we took over out of around 400 pub and restaurants in Peterborough.”
Giving the village its pub back has gone down very well with locals who have been very supportive in the last 12 months.
“TripAdvisor is all about reviews and some of the comments about the food are amazing,” Stuart added.
“We have lots of people seeking us out now, since we made the Top 10.
“All the food is freshly cooked - the sausages come from the farm next door and the potatoes and carrots from within a mile of the kitchen, It is all fresh and local as it can be.
“We wanted to open the place on March 1 last year and thanks to a farmer in the village clearing the road we did.
“It was white outside with snow so we thought it would be a good idea to mark the anniversary with a party where it was white inside.”
“I had no chef back then, we just wanted to get open, but I soon got one, we now have two and I am looking for a third.
“It is full every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon .
“I threw a party at Christmas to thank the locals, and we will be celebrating with family and friends again on Friday.
“We have lots of people from the village come in, which is great.
“They love the fact they have a pub they can just walk to, where it is friendly and has a bit of a buzz.”