The Olive Branch

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esb.jpgExcerpt from Eat Slow Britain by Alastair Sawday & Anna Colquhoun:

“The Olive Branch is more than a pub, it’s a community project, too,” says Ben Jones, who with old friends Sean Hope and Marcus Welford, managed to get their hands on the pub before it was sold as a house. Locals were delighted: with no local shop or post office, the Olive Branch was vital…

smolivebranchpub0002.JPGInside the beautiful stone house you can see the frame of the three cottages that were knocked together  - now they are cosy interconnected dining areas. Low beams, old wooden furniture, crackling fires, the chatter of happy diners and genuinely enthusiastic staff put people at ease. “We like to generate rapport with our customers, so we can tell them about our food and encourage them to try new things,” explains Ben …

The menu changes constantly to capture ingredients at their peak: asparagus from Abbey Parks Farm in spring; courgette flowers from the Red Lion’s kitchen garden in summer; quinces from villagers’ trees in autumn; pheasant and partridge in winter. “We offered locals a pint per pound of food brought in. They soon twigged heavy items were a winner, and we were inundated with venison haunches!” recalls Ben …

The Olive Branch, Rutland, England

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