EVOLUTION OF THE GREAT BRITISH PUB
My first meeting of 2019 at the Freemasons saw Steve Smith replace his chef’s whites with wellies and a hard hat as he took me on a tour of the exciting new developments at his multi award winning pub, writes Tedd Walmsley
The Freemasons has a new kitchen scheduled to open in early May and it was hard for Steve Smith to contain his enthusiasm and excitement for the project, when I recently met with him.
A new chef’s table and bench will allow diners to be close to the action and witness first hand the creation of its stunning food and the vision extends beyond the kitchen to a new outdoor urban style space and so much more. It’s a thrilling prospect for customers new and old to see the evolution of this great British pub.
The investment and development don’t stop there as I was given a full tour of the four new bedrooms next door and also the first of a selection of cottages in Wiswell village. The target date for opening is late April for the rooms and the local builders are on schedule. The opportunity to stay over is a much needed addition for both the Freemasons, and on a wider level – extra rooms in the village to encourage tourism into the valley.
Steven pointed out that there had to be some disruption in April as a temporary kitchen needed to be installed. He was working on an abridged menu to ensure continuity and to create a selection of favourites whilst the kitchen project was completed. Looking ahead to the next few months there are a variety of signature events to enjoy – ranging from special menus for both Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to the ever popular ‘Chippy Tea’ and their food and wine club. The details are all listed on the Freemasons website.
2019 looks likely to be another incredible year for Steven and the whole team at the Freemasons – I have no doubt the ‘awards train’ will roll into Wiswell once again. Last week saw Steven awarded Gastropub Chef of the Year 2019 with the Freemasons heading up the Lancashire contingency in the Estrella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs. No less than five Lancashire pubs feature in the 2019 Top 50 with Steve and the Freemasons moving up to take the magnificent number three spot!
As Steven and I thawed out with a welcome cup of coffee in front of one of the roaring log fires, it’s clear why this welcoming pub with its variety of menus is so popular. I can’t wait to see both projects finished and the next stage of the evolution complete.
Steven Smith Chef & Managing Director
01254 822218 ext 2 / 07794 408887