The Castle

A 'warts & all' account of the transformation of a run-down pub in Bradford-On-Avon into a 'proper' Inn (food pub with rooms). Written by Alex Reilley & Pierre Woodford

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pierre comes down

The following weekend Pierre arrives with his wife Nicola to check out our find. Like Lee, Pierre is a longstanding friend of Jake & myself from our days back in our home town of Leicester. We met Pierre whilst working at the same Mexican restaurant when we were in our late teens & consequently ended up sharing/destroying a house & in a 9-month period when we ended up with enough stories to fill any normal persons lifetime - we've bored anyone & everyone with them since.

When we all left Leicester a year later Pierre went to London & started working at Conran's famous, & first, restaurant Bibendum where he started as a glorified plate carrier. Eleven years on & Pierre is still at Bibendum where he is now (rather impressively) general manager.

Over the years wine-fuelled conversations have touched upon how great it would be to do a restaurant together & how Pierre should move over the SouthWest, without any plans developing. However of late both subjects seemed to have gathered more momentum & we had a strong ally in Pierre's wife Nicola, who wanted desperately to swap London for a slice of the West country. Two weeks prior to us finding The Castle Pierre & Nicola had been over visiting & we'd enjoyed a great meal at The Pear Tree in Whitley. At dinner I'd (apparently) promised Nicola that we'd find something for Pierre & now here we were just a fortnight later & not that many miles away.

They both saw what we saw, potential. Nicola summed it up best, "I love it, but I hate it" - I think we all got what she meant.

They decided to go away & talk it over, it all seemed very positive.


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