DCSIMG

Love of Ridgewell helped inspire pub purchase

Staff at the newly opened Kings Head Pub in Ridgewell. Owner Dawn Brailsford (centre with glass) with staff Lois Wallbridge, Brid McKee, Amie Wallings, Beth Buchanan and Aaron Vaux ANL-140308-213248009

Staff at the newly opened Kings Head Pub in Ridgewell. Owner Dawn Brailsford (centre with glass) with staff Lois Wallbridge, Brid McKee, Amie Wallings, Beth Buchanan and Aaron Vaux ANL-140308-213248009

 

Fears expressed in some local quarters that the Kings Head in Ridgewell had closed have proved well off the mark - in fact it has just had something of a renaissance under its new owner.

The pub in the heart of the village had been closed for just over one year after being bought by Dawn Brailsford, but many hard yards later it is now open again and once more starting to thrive.

Dawn, who brought the pub in June 2013, explained what happened: “I have lived in this village for 14 years.

“When I saw this up for sale my husband and I discussed it and with my family - my daughters - we decided to buy it and sell our house and it’s taken one year to bring it to this point.”

Everything in the pub has either been replaced or redecorated, with much of the work being done by Dawn and her husband Mark, who although not a partner in the business has personally designed and created a new garden bar.

Dawn previously worked in London as a PA and corporate events organiser in investment banking, but after the birth of her two daughters, now aged 11 and 12, had no desire to return to working in the city.

She explained: “Once this came up, between the two of us we knew we could do something nice and for me I wanted to be able to still be near my children and earn a living where I live and also be part of this community, because I love this village.”

As part of the refurbishment there is now a relaxing lounge area with a sofa while hanging on the walls of the ‘top bar’ are numerous black and white photos of the cast of Dads Army and big screen stars of yesteryear, such as Tommy Trinder. All taken from their previous family home.

Dawn has aimed to source everything drank and eaten by customers as locally as possible.

As the Kings Head is a freehouse ales - including those from the likes of the Indian Summer Brewery in Saffron Walden and the Mill Green Brewery in Edwardstone - are regularly changed.

No home brand lagers can be found either, instead the pub stocks Adnams Dried Hopped Lager and another from Calvors in Ipswich.

Two wine merchants are used by the pub, one of them being C2C Wines in Birdbrook, which provides a wide selection of wines by the glass, including Prosecco and fortified wines.

All their food is made fresh on the premises using produce from East Anglia, although Dawn stresses the King Head is not a gastro pub.

Even the pub sign has seen a big change. It now features King Edmund instead of King Henry VIII, adding to the local theme.

On August 24 the pub is staging a jazz and ale day, with a six piece jazz band, lots of real ales and lots of good food.

 

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