Customers enjoy a real sense of community ‘spirit’
Lorcan Lovett talks to the landlady of The White Hart pub in High Street, Chalfont St Peter
ATRADITIONAL pub is still a hit with the community after serving villagers for about 400 years. The White Hart in Chalfont St Peter has been through many hands, and it is claimed there are a few ghosts to keep drinkers company.
Landlady Rachael Bree, 43, has worked at the pub for 27 years, eventually buying it with her parents Gary and Cherie Bree in 2000.
The community ethos went down a treat with the locals. Charity quiz nights, contributing to projects such as street decorations and, of course, Ms Bree’s dog, Gunner the border terrier, are all a success.
“I feel proud of helping the
y, Ms Bree. “We get involved in what the locals want, what the village wants. We get involved in the committees, we try to help the village as much as we can.”
The Bree family went into partnership 14 years ago, however Ms Bree bought out her parents three years ago as her father was suffering with ill health.
She said: “I trained my mum and dad how to work a pub; they trained me how to run a business.”
Her parents bought the popular Merlin’s Cave in Chalfont St Giles, which, Rachel says, was also turned into a ‘community pub’. Her father sold that venue two years ago.
The White Hart attracts a range of customers, with the oldest punter aged 94. Ms Bree added: “Lunchtime is what I call the boots and suits, all the office guys.
“In the evening, local people walk down and have a few beers without any worries.”
Quiz nights on Tuesdays raise funds for groups and projects in the village.
The nights have raised more than £10,000 in 16 years, says Ms Bree.
Band nights on Saturdays and darts on Mondays are also popular.
The only spirit which can be a hard sell at the public house is former landlord Donald, who died in the early 1900s. People say he still plays the violin there today.
“He used to play the violin to customers,” said Ms Bree. “They say you can still hear it.”