David's Diary: week three

Related tags Kitchen

Becky Salisbury's husband David takes the hot seat this week to give his slant on the re-opening of the Old Queen's Head in Penn,...

Becky Salisbury's husband David takes the hot seat this week to give his slant on the re-opening of the Old Queen's Head in Penn, Buckinghamshire.

Week three: Three weeks to opening​Cigarettes: noneBottles of Bud: not nearly enough

While Becky 's been playing Mrs Diplomacy with the magistrates in South Bucks, I've been hard at it back in Penn overseeing the transformation of the Old Queen's Head into a signature Salisbury pub.

Most things are going well.The tables and chairs have all been bought from local auctions and now need some love and polish to get them ready.At least if this operation goes pear-shaped we can still open an antique shop.

The lighting is in, the carpets are laid and lots of the bits and pieces of detail are ready to be installed too.

A lot of what we are doing with the pub is about making the interior lighter, but at the same time softer and warmer. To me the old look was gloomy and frigid - never a good combination in my book..

With freshly-painted walls and new carpets, sympathetic lighting and less dark wood, the place is much more welcoming, particularly the dining room which is set in a galleried area at one end of the pub.

The big sticking point remains the kitchen. It is poised to take shape, but the sight of some paperwork, which just doesn 't seem to add up, fazes me. It looks like we are being charged extra for stuff we thought we'd already ordered. I don't want to slow down the installation butI'll be damned if I 'm going to pay over the odds.

So now it's my turn to be diplomatic - and I'm much worse at it than the wife. Turns out the kitchen company hasn't interpreted our order correctly (things like the steel wall cladding being half-height instead of floor to ceiling)- so the quote is incorrect..

My first instinct is to say "tough", but I realise that might be a bit counter-productive so I decide we will work it all out when the kitchen is completed.

It's a niggle, but it's one of many that we are going to park and reconcile when we are open.

My own personal baby is the bar area - a key ingredient for any Salisbury operation. People have to feel they are visiting a pub first and foremost, albeit one that happens to serve great food.

The biggest irony in all this is that despite being the owner of four gastropubs,we never seem to eat in any of them and more often than not end up late at night with a KFC or a kebab. That's just wrong, isn't it?

Related topics Property law

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