If you haven’t heard already The Farmers Arms pub at Wellington Heath has re-opened its doors. With a fresh and enthusiastic approach the new landlords are determined to make this local pub popular again.
The new owner is a builder. He has updated the premises making it light, warm and welcoming. Lawrence and Carolyn Joplin are the excited incumbents. Recently managing The Bell at Yarpole, Carolyn tells me they have been in the locale for many years and are delighted to have the opportunity to run this pub as a freehouse, with all the opportunities such a project brings with it.
Lawrence is the chef. He has knowledge and experience of producing a good, varied menu from quality produce and ingredients. He was a late starter in the cookery profession and his interest led him to working free and gratis in a Michelin star kitchen to start him on his chosen career. He went on to study catering at Hereford College as a mature student. Then on to working in high end kitchens with the likes of Claude Bosi in Ludlow and finally with Darren Field at Englands Gate at Bodenham. He was now equipped to face the gastronomic world head on, starting his own kitchen at the above mentioned – The Bell at Yarpole. In fact, their passion for good food extends to dining at good eateries, even when they get time off…!
Lawrence is very keen to source as many of his supplies as possible locally. This can expand as their tenure lengthens. Already using some butchers in Ledbury, The Food Group has contributed a list of many local suppliers of all kinds of produce, which the couple can avail themselves of. The menu also features a variety of fish dishes – the New Wave company from Gloucester is happy to replenish stocks daily – a new one on me. And, just in case you thought all this was sounding more restauranty and less pubby, there is a barter board for us mortals who ‘home grow.’ Included on the Sunday Roast menu, if your family all enjoy chicken, you can order a whole one with all the trimmings to carve at your table. Now there’s a good idea.
On the social side we have sparked some ideas for inclusion in Ledbury’s Big Breakfast and Poetry Festival events. In August, plans to have a Sausage Festival at the pub are already on the table. Excuse the pun… Musical, Quiz and Themed events are all a possibility for the future – creating a social hub being the intention.
Lawrence and Carolyn, with their family, Joe and Hannah, really want to make this pub a success. It will require a lot of hard work and dedication and I hope that with local support the possibilities for The Farmers’ Arms are endless. Cheers!