Hi, I'm Angela. In this blog, we hope to share the highlights of running a Northumberland country inn and introduce you to some of the people we are lucky enough to meet along the way.
Is it just us, or is 2017 speeding by at an alarming rate?
Here at The Pheasant Inn it doesn’t seem a minute since we were sitting down in January, planning out the timetable of work for the continuous refurbishment programme of our Northumberland pub and bed and breakfast accommodation.
Our website refresh is now complete, and most exciting of all it’s now mobile friendly to make it easier to access information and even check availability and book a room direct from your phone.
The changes also showcase Garden Cottage, our luxury holiday cottage which is a few yards away from the pub and very handy if you are looking for self-contained bed and breakfast accommodation near Kielder.
The cottage has a fully equipped kitchen for those who want to go self-catering, or our guests can choose to eat in our restaurant or bar in the evenings. It’s ideal for those who want to relax in a comfortable, beautifully-furnished Northumberland holiday cottage but don’t want to spend their holiday being a slave to the cooker.
Living and working in a rural area, and in a building that dates back to the mid-1600s with thick farmhouse walls, means accepting some of the issues related to rural living such as a strong wifi connection. Many of our guests like to have a digital detox while they are with us but for those who need to stay connected, we are very pleased to say that thanks to the installation of a Cat5 cable, we now have free wifi working in all of our guest rooms.
Several of our bedrooms have had a facelift this year, and we have also installed a new fire alarm system in the whole of our bedroom block, which at one time was the barn and the hayloft.
You will gather from all that it’s been a very busy summer so far, and our thanks go to Park End Electrical, the Computer Shop in Hexham, and design and branding experts The Design Engine, whose collective help and hard work has been much appreciated.
In other news, Walter has followed Angela’s lead and had a hip replacement recently, but is recovering well. Thank you to everyone who has asked after the family since the sad passing of Walter’s wife Irene. We are all coping as best we can, and looking to the future.
Last of all, many of our regulars will know what a passion we have for serving fresh, local produce and our kitchen garden where we grow a lot of the vegetables, salad, fruit and herbs that feature on our menus is looking particularly lush this year. We are lucky to have enough space to grow much of what we need - from back door to kitchen in less than five minutes – food doesn’t come much fresher than that!
Here at The Pheasant we regard many of our regular guests as family, and many of you will already have heard the very sad news that Irene, the matriarch of the Kershaw family and one of the three partners in The Pheasant Inn, passed away recently.
Irene and her husband Walter ran the very successful Copper Kettle Tearoom on Front Street in Bamburgh for many years, and when the couple bought The Pheasant Inn in 1985 it had a chequered history and was badly in need of some TLC.
True to character and never one to retreat from a challenge, Irene rolled up her sleeves and got to work alongside Walter and their son Robin to transform The Pheasant Inn into an award-winning country pub serving simple, unpretentious food with good wine and real ales, alongside comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation that every year welcomes hundreds of visitors to our beautiful county of Northumberland.
Irene passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 5th, 2017 aged 80 years, after several months of illness, bravely borne. Family and friends gathered together to attend a thanksgiving service at St Peter's Church in Falstone to celebrate her life, and we think she would have been both touched and pleased that so many people turned out, and made kind donations in her memory, totalling £660 divided equally between Tynedale Hospice at Home and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Her influence and her unwavering instinct for providing warm and welcoming hospitality will always be with us and she is very much missed by the family and the Pheasant’s team of staff.
Walter, Robin and Angela would like to pass on their thanks to everyone for their kind words and for their support over the last few months.
We were very excited to receive an invitation from our Scotland-based Wine Merchant, Wine Importers Ltd, to an ‘Epicurean event of Food and Wine Pairing’ at the world famous Gleneagles hotel in Perthshire recently.
Here at The Pheasant we like to constantly refresh our wine list, as well as adding to our range of over 50 fine whiskies, so this was an event not to be missed and Robin and Angela took a rare break together to attend. And to those of you thinking Robin struck lucky with a very tax-effective treat for Angela’s recent milestone birthday, shame on you, nothing was further from his thoughts!
Wine Importers Ltd enjoy a great reputation for quality and the beautifully printed invitation promised wonderful wines and tasty dishes, to allow guests to sample an array of food styles combined with 250 wines from the best producers in the world. The promise certainly lived up to expectations and sparked lots of ideas for interesting new flavours and dishes among the audience.
Those of you familiar with the beautiful county of Northumberland know it’s a fair distance from Stannersburn to Gleneagles, so Robin and Angela took advantage and stayed over for a couple of nights. One of the highlights of the trip was tucking into the hotel’s famous breakfast the following morning. A great trip and all in the name of research you understand, there is nothing we won’t do for our guests!
"Good people, good place, good food, good beer."
visitor from London
"An old English pub with modern accommodation in an idyllic spot. Good food, friendly staff ...need I say more? Fitness Centre? The great outdoors!"
visitor from Somerset
"The Kershaws' cooking is fresh, generous and flavoursome, producing wholesome traditional English fare."
The Pub Guide