Oxfordshire freehold the Kingham Plough, which came 15th in the awards, recently re-opened after owners Emily Watkins and Miles Lampson oversaw the creation of a new ‘eco’ kitchen and redevelopment of the venue’s on-site accommodation.
The pub’s kitchen now features equipment such as induction hobs and Eco-Pro refrigeration and was designed to be as energy-efficient as possible.
Watkins, who was a winner in BBC’s Great British Menu 2014, said: “We’d been planning the refurbishment for ages – we were very keen on doing an eco-kitchen. Our kitchen equipment needed updating big time. The first week was difficult – it was a hard graft getting used to the new kit but we are now used to it. There are a lot of jobs that are now done more efficiently and better.
“We now have an external cold store which is amazing. For instance, we really used to have to think about which month we could have venison on the menu whereas now there’s plenty of space to put any manner of things. It also means we’ve released that space in the kitchen so our chefs aren’t on top of each other during serving.”
Since the re-opening, Watkins and her team have also begun to offer complimentary amuse-bouche, and homemade charcuterie including venison salami with violet potato bread with red wine, fennel and black pepper.
Three of the site’s en-suite annexe rooms have been transformed, turning them into two bedrooms and bathrooms.
Watkins said: “The bedrooms have to be a reflection on the quality of our food. Whilst four were fantastic, three needed a bit of an overhaul. We totally gutted them and redeveloped them.”
The Kingham Plough’s first annual farmers market is also set to take place on Sunday 3 May, featuring several outdoor and indoor bars, over 30 stalls and a barbecue and hog roast.
Watkins will be putting on cooking demonstrations throughout the event using showcased produce.