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.”