Big Success For Small Pub
Laxton couple Linda and David Brown are celebrating after their pub, The Dovecote Inn, was awarded the ‘Best Food Pub East Midlands and East Anglia’ by the Great British Pub Awards.
Good food, a relaxed and welcoming environment, and an honest approach to dining are the ingredients which attract customers to the unique village pub. But it is the food and the commitment to ensuring the Inn remains true to its traditional style which has bagged the pub its award – and keeps customers coming back.
“The award is for a pub, not a restaurant,” explains Linda. “It’s not alternative or chic but has got that quintessential English feel to it.”
The couple, who are a customer of Holdsworth, have run the Dovecote for the past six years along with their team and are passionate about using local produce. Beef and steaks are sourced from nearby farms and butchers, and they even rear their own free-range pigs. “We serve wholesome, home-cook food and don’t try to be fancy. I think that is what our customers want,” admits Linda. “That’s not to say we don’t have an exciting menu, when it is available or in season we have veal, rabbit and pheasant – which is all lovely and keeps our menus interesting.”
They also make their own sourdough rolls and artisan baguettes, flavoured butters and ale batter.
Situated in an idyllic location, famous for its historic medieval strip farming system, and close to Sherwood Forest, the community is important to Linda and David who try to recruit locally.
Sous-chef Kerry and commis chef Hayden are both from the local area. Kerry has been with the Dovecote Inn for five years; Hayden started as an apprentice.
Local head chef, Edward Hackland, has been at Dovecote Inn for three years and has really taken the establishment forward with a focus on made-in-house cooking. Linda says, “Eddie is very enthusiastic and passionate about food and has led the way – when he joined us he took things back to basics by making all of his sauces and gravy from scratch.”
The pub has an excellent selection of cask ales and fine wines, and to complement the menu it features theme nights such as Tapas.
On top of the win at the Great British Pub Awards, organised by The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, Linda and David have also received a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor, which is given to only 10 per cent of establishments worldwide.