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.
Our staff become part of the family here at the Pheasant Inn Kielder, and we are sad to bid farewell to our lovely team of John and Natalie, who leave us shortly. The couple are eventually returning to Natalie’s home city of Melbourne in Australia, but before that Natalie is having a complete change and will be working at Go Ape, the zip line & treetop adventure course experts.
John and Natalie will have been with us for 12 months when they leave in March, which is a first for what were traditionally seasonal jobs for our bar and restaurant staff.
Running a Northumberland country pub with bed and breakfast has in previous years been very much a seasonal affair, peaking in summer and allowing us a little bit of breathing space during the winter months to allow us to get all our annual refurbishments done. But in recent years attractions like the Kielder Observatory, the Alnwick Garden and Northumberlandia have added to the castles, countryside and heritage attractions of our beautiful county of Northumberland, making business equally buoyant all year round.
The Kielder Observatory in particular draws hundreds of visitors, and we’re pleased to be on its list of recommended places to stay nearby. Northumberland being granted dark-sky status by The International Dark Skies Association really boosted visitor numbers, not just from the UK but further afield and we are always happy to welcome our stargazing visitors.
Anyway, back to John and Natalie, who have been a pleasure to work with over the last year. We are very sorry to see them leave but wish them all the very best for the future, whatever it holds for them. Stepping into their shoes are Arran and Agne who have been working in Malta and hail respectively from Scotland and Lithuania. We look forward to them joining the hard working team who give our customers a warm welcome and great service.
This lovely old black and white picture shows a previous owner of the property, Minnie Nevan. We can hardly believe it but last month saw the celebration of The Pheasant Inn having been in the capable hands of the Kershaw family for 30 years.
The building dates back to the mid- 1600s and was originally a farmhouse. The story goes that the farmer and his family were sociable types and over time people tended to gather there for a drink and a bite to eat and as the Royal Mail was delivered here it eventually became known locally as The Crown Inn.
When we spotted the pub in 1985 we fell in love with the place, despite the fact it was obviously in need of some love and attention. A detailed refurbishment included creating eight comfortably-furnished en-suite bedrooms in what had been the barn and hayloft, and the place was transformed into The Pheasant Inn.
As a family we took the decision many years ago that The Pheasant Inn would always be true to its roots. You won’t find us making any lavish claims or using flowery descriptions, we are a traditional welcoming country inn serving good home-cooked food, wine and real ales and offering competitively priced Northumberland bed and breakfast accommodation.
Over the years we have had a great team of staff around us, all working hard to give our customers a warm welcome and great service. We are proud to be the custodians of such a well-loved feature of the local landscape, and hopeful of another 30 years of welcoming visitors and locals through our doors.
Looking back at our history has brought quite a lump to our throats when we think of all the locals and visitors who have walked through our door. Why not join us in the bar next time you are passing, and we will raise a glass to The Pheasant Inn, and all those past and present who have helped to make it such a lovely place to live, work and relax.
In our latest blog we thought we would give you a round-up of what’s happening here at The Pheasant Inn Kielder, as we look forward into 2015.
It’s been all go as our winter refurbishment carries on at a pace, ahead of our re-opening next week. Robin has said a sad farewell to our trusty oven range, a Falcon Dominator which was installed in 1973 – the same year that Sunderland won the FA cup, if any of you can remember that far back. I can’t estimate how many tasty meals it’s produced but it must be in the tens of thousands, and we hope its replacement will be equally reliable.
Our dining room is also getting a makeover, with decorator Paul doing a great job finishing the painting ahead of the new soft furnishings arriving. We had a little bit of trouble with our beautiful new carpet recently, when a visitor accidentally walked some sort of heavy industrial grease right through the bar, dining room and up the stairs. Luckily, Barrasford-based carpet cleaning expert Malcolm Nixon was on our doorstep at 9.30am the following morning and did an amazing job cleaning the carpets – you wouldn’t even know there had been a problem, many thanks to him for helping us out.
It’s been a very chilly few weeks up here in Northumberland, and out in the kitchen garden, three loads of Ridley Stokoe farm’s finest manure and the local worms are busy working their magic, ready for the new growing season.
We’re also recruiting again, particularly for someone with kitchen experience and a keen interest in cooking, who can work alongside Robin or independently. If you know of anyone looking for a move, we would love to hear from them.
And lastly, the B&B season bookings are already taking off, in fact all our current accommodation is now booked for New Year break in 2015. We are hoping Garden Cottage, our new two bedroom self-catering cottage will be available by then too, pop over to our Facebook page to see how the conversion is coming along, and let us know what you think.
"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