The Ship Inn at Burcombe has reopened after a change of management.

It is welcome news as it is an idyllic summer venue, with a well-tended river garden.

New owner Michael Richmond recently retired as a surveyor, but has come full circle and returned to managing pubs, the career of his youth. He loved it then and is thrilled to be back in the ‘comfort zone’ of the pub world.

Michael’s had a lot on his plate refurbishing the kitchen and tidying up the garden, but he is now ready to go and is behind the bar welcoming customers into the pub. Ian, the chef, having run his own restaurants, is enjoying working in a traditional country pub.

After asking Michael to see the menu, he showed me a list of delicious pub meals but is keen to point out the pub specials board.

“We want the specials to be the real draw for customers. We have fresh food delivered every day. When it runs out it runs out and we start again the next day,” Michael said. “The meat is delivered daily by the reliable Manor Farm Meats which is literally over the road from us. The fish pie chef Ian cooks receives many compliments, as does his moules mariniere,” said Michael.
“Customers are enjoying coming back and seeing the diverse specials.”

That day on the board was Gressingham duck breast pan-served and roasted, with caramelised red cabbage, sautéed potatoes and roasted red peppers finished with Cointreau sauce – it all looked mouth-water-ing.

I visited on a week day and Michael did not have time to chat for long. There is a steady flow of customers. It seems The Ship Inn is already back on the map.

Katrina ffiske

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