CHRIS LEE

EADT Suffolk - - FOOD AND DRINK -

THE BILDESTON CROWN

“Be­fore all this hap­pened I’d be up and at it early doors. Now it’s been a cup of tea with Hay­ley, nice piece of Philly on toast, then a few hours in the kitchen, maybe a trip to Book­ers (love that, it’s like Christ­mas). We’ve scrubbed the pub right through, painted it.

“I’ve not stopped. We started the ready meals at first to use up stock, but now we’re do­ing all sorts – cur­ries, piri piri chicken, mush­room stroganoff, Red Poll beef stew – for sale at the vil­lage shops in Bildeston, and now Pol­stead and Monks Eleigh too. We do Sun­day roasts to col­lect – three types of potato, eight dif­fer­ent veg – and pro­duce boxes to or­der in col­lab­o­ra­tion with our sup­pli­ers Anglia Pro­duce, Mar­rfish, M&M Butch­ers, and Fab­u­lous Fungi in Burstall.

“I’ve never felt so con­nected with Bildeston. On the clap for the NHS evenings we talked with peo­ple we’d never spo­ken to be­fore. When we re­open I want to do a vil­lage night first, and we’ve got a mar­quee up ready for an out­door bar­be­cue when we’re al­lowed.

“What’s got us through? Easy – mint Mag­nums for me, and rosé for Hay­ley. And our dogs. Peanut and Truf­fle [the cou­ple’s minia­ture dachshunds] are of­fi­cially best dogs ever.

“We’re lucky. We’ve got space, and James [Buckle, owner] has been amaz­ing. I’m in no rush, but when we do re­open the menu will be shorter, maybe four or five dishes along with our burg­ers and steak.”

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