HONEYBOURNE’s historic Thatched Tavern will be given a new lease of life when a £135,000 revamp gets underway.
Building work will start today (Monday) on an upgrade of the Star Pubs and Bars owned pub with new licensees and local residents Martyn and Fay Mathias and daughter Amy eager to get behind the bar.
The three-week refurbishment will mean the pub is closed from 6pm on Sunday (November 21) until November 29 with the remaining two weeks spent improving the pub exterior.
Motivated by a desire to create a fantastic quintessential village pub for the local community and to support Amy’s ambition to have a career in hospitality, the family took on the Thatched Tavern in November 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
Fay, a former director of nursing at NHS England, said: “We’ve lived in the village for 25 years and felt after a series of temporary managers that the pub needed stability and some love lavished on it.
“Some people thought we were mad, but we’ve no regrets. It has been a baptism of fire, but it was the right decision. It’s a real family enterprise.
“Although Amy has a master’s degree in chemistry, she has always enjoyed hospitality. She is the general manager responsible for the day-to-day business, Martyn looks after back-office functions such as finance and purchasing.”
The family took on the pub with the refurbishment in mind. However, Covid delayed building work.
Undeterred by lockdowns and delays, the family pushed ahead with their own improvements to the pub installing a high spec wi-fi network so people can work from the Tavern, taking the oak beams back to a natural colour and overhauling the garden.
Head chef Lee McDonald has previously worked as head chef in a number of well-known and respected local establishments. He is French trained and has worked across the world.
Lee worked throughout lockdown by investing in a specialist pizza oven and operating a takeaway service which will continue to operate six days a week.
The family have created six full and six parttime roles for local people since opening and source local seasonal ingredients supplied by environmentally friendly companies such as Maypole Butchers and Indigo Valley, an award-winning carbon-neutral coffee roaster.
As part of the upgrade, the pub’s thatched roof ridge is being repaired and new signage fitted, and the pub exterior is being repainted.
When the Thatched Tavern reopens on November 29 it will continue to offer a Mediterranean influenced menu with every dish made from scratch.
A Christmas menu will also be available in time for the party season. Groups are welcome to book a table in the dining room for festive meals though Christmas Day is already fully booked.