Couple’s great success running restaurant
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@ hotmail.co.uk; follow me on Twitter @SteveKMAshford.
Or leave a phone message for me with brief details by calling 01233 623232.