Chef Daniel Clifford saves Dunmow Bacon
PUBLISHED: 09:57 02 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:57 02 April 2015
Little Dunmow's only pub is to get a new lease of life after being taken over by a two Michelin-starred chef.
There were fears that the Flitch of Bacon, named after the historical marriage trials which originated in the village in the 13th century, would be turned into housing following its closure last November.
But the timely takeover by Daniel Clifford, who runs Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge, has reassured residents about the future of the building.
“It is a lovely little local pub, 15 minutes from my home that needs a little love,” said the 42-year-old chef, who said he lives a “dog’s walk” away from his new property.
“It’s in a quaint little village with beautiful thatched houses. I have been driving past it for the past six years, I have always fancied it and when the opportunity came up to buy the freehold it was a no-brainer really.”
“Everything will be made on site with produce from the farm,” added Daniel, who opened an eight-acre farm in Ongar last year.
“We also have no ties to a brewery so I will be sourcing great local ales and using Felsted Vineyard,” he added. Daniel, who bought the freehold for the pub for £300,000, plans to open it at the beginning of July, after an extensive £500,000 refurbishment.
The pub will have 35 covers, has a large beer garden and three letting rooms which will open shortly after the pub itself.
Under Daniel’s culinary expertise, the inn will serve traditional pub food including ‘forgotten classics’ such as steak and kidney pudding, homemade sausages, and Black Forest Gateau.
Little Dunmow parish chairman Jeff Thomas welcomed the news.
“The village will be delighted,” he said. “We were very disappointed that it wasn’t taken over when it was first closed. It was going to be taken over by a village group but that fell through.
“It’s terrible without it, it was a popular pub. We were very afraid that it might be sold and turned into housing. It’s the only pub at the centre of the village, and being called the Flitch of Bacon it’s quite important for the feel of the place.”
The pub is reported to have changed hands around three times in the last ten years.
“Let’s hope this one’s a keeper,” said Kate Atherton, a parish councillor and patron of the pub.
“Everyone’s delighted - I think it’s great news for the village,” she added.