Cou­ple’s great suc­cess run­ning restau­rant

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Anniversary Event -

On July 1, 1997, a new style of eat­ing out came to Ash­ford. We had all seen the ad­verts il­lus­trat­ing the de­li­cious food and desserts and the taste­fully dec­o­rated restau­rants, but at that time, many of us had yet to sam­ple the culi­nary de­lights on of­fer from one of the pop­u­lar na­tional chains.

Fa­mous for its salad cart and spit-roast chicken, this week sees the 20th an­niver­sary of the open­ing of the ever pop­u­lar By­brook Barn Har­vester restau­rant and pub in Can­ter­bury Road, Ash­ford.

Then owner Bass Tav­erns turned the Grade II listed barn and for­mer home of the By­brook Barn gar­den cen­tre into what has be­come one of the area’s busiest and most pop­u­lar din­ing choices.

Orig­i­nally and again re­cently man­aged by restau­rant vet­er­ans Mike Robin­son and his wife Joyce, the pop­u­lar site has gone from strength to strength.

The menu has changed sev­eral times over the years and so has the own­er­ship, but many will re­mem­ber tasty choices such as the dif­fer­ently flavoured spit-roast chicken – hon­eyed ap­ple, orig­i­nal and three-pep­pered, the red­coat turkey and the Com­bine Har­vester – that were all on the menu in 1997. What about desserts such as the Rocky Hor­ror!

How do you re­mem­ber all these, you ask? Well, I was the first host at the Har­vester when it opened and I have many fond mem­o­ries work­ing for Mike and Joyce. They had pre­vi­ously had suc­cesses when man­ag­ing the Tu­dor Rose Toby Restau­rant in Couls­don, Sur­rey.

By­brook Barn Har­vester re­ally was Mike’s baby and its con­tin­u­ing suc­cess is tes­ti­mony to the hard work and strong foun­da­tions he and his wife and staff put into the restau­rant from the start.

Two fi­nal mem­o­ries which al­ways makes me laugh. While help­ing in the restau­rant one day, a cus­tomer asked me for “profit-rolls” (prof­iteroles) “no cream” – much to his amaze­ment, I told him the cream was al­ready in­side! The other mem­ory, as part of our train­ing, we had to try some (if not all) of the menu be­fore we opened for busi­ness. When we came to open we were ex­tremely short of food and a bit heav­ier too!

Have you any pho­to­graphs or slides that you would be will­ing to loan to me, to en­able them to be scanned for pos­si­ble fea­ture in the Ken­tish Ex­press? Please don’t de­lay, get in touch!

Write to me: Steve Sal­ter, Ken­tish Ex­press Re­mem­ber When, Unit 4, Park Mall Shop­ping Cen­tre, Ash­ford, Kent. TN24 8RY. Email me at re­mem­ber­when_k­mash@ hot­; fol­low me on Twit­ter @SteveKMAsh­ford.

Or leave a phone mes­sage for me with brief de­tails by call­ing 01233 623232.

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