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The Trout Inn – a pub with a special place in many people’s hearts

An exceptional dining experience and a warm welcome awaits guests at the newly refurbished Trout Inn in Wansford.

Owners Paul Anderson and Ian Merchant bought the popular family pub in 2022 and have spent more than a year modernising and upgrading the premises.

The Trout Inn opened its doors to its first customers on Christmas Eve last year and has enjoyed a busy 2024 welcoming both old customers and new to the venue, which holds a special place in many people’s hearts.

Paul said: “The support from people has been tremendous and I think we have quickly become an integral part of the local community which is what we always wanted.

“I think what we have done here is pretty special and, in my opinion, it is a beautiful country pub, and the huge majority of people love the place.

“We would like to thank everybody for their support, and we are delighted to be here and to have the pub back open for the local community.”

The Trout Inn prides itself on being a warm family pub, where parents, children, grandparents, friends, colleagues, and well-behaved canine companions are always welcome.

It has become a focal point for the local community as a place to catch up with old friends and new.

The two traditional front bar areas provide a relaxing environment to enjoy a quiet drink and unwind after a long day.

The modern new dining area opened in April and has enjoyed a busy first two months.

Serving traditional English country pub food such as steak, fish and chips and bangers and mash, the Trout Inn is proud to champion local growers and suppliers.

Earlier this month, the restaurant began serving lunches from 12noon until 3pm.

Paul said: “Over recent months we have grown from three bar staff to almost 40 members of staff including four chefs, waiting staff, kitchen porters and bar staff.

“We have just opened for lunches, and they are proving very popular.

“Opening a restaurant is a six-month process as we listen to feedback from our customers, learn what elements of the menu work and build our team.

“Our offering is English country pub food such as steak and fish and chips and we also offer several trout dishes such as trout hash and trout fishcakes and these have been very popular.

“Our menu will change on a seasonal basis, and we are working with local growers and suppliers for our ingredients.

“We serve traditional Sunday lunches, which are always a huge success.

“We will continue to evolve as we move forwards and the majority of the feedback received so far has been very positive.”

For food menus and to book, please visit the website or ring 01377 254204.

Before Paul and Ian took ownership, the Trout Inn had been closed since 2021 when previous owners Keith and Marie Robinson made the difficult decision to sell their beloved business and home due to a combination of lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and health problems. Sadly, Keith passed away in November 2021.

The £600,000 refurbishment got underway in 2023 and was project managed by Keith Gray from Gray’s Bespoke Interiors.

Work included returning the building to its original brickwork, a new roof and windows; the floors have been levelled throughout; the floors, ceilings and walls have been fully insulated; underfloor heating has been installed; the electrics have been rewired, and new plumbing has been installed throughout.

As well as the two traditional bars at the front of the pub, the refurbishment included a modern function room with a cocktail bar, a fully modernised new kitchen and dining area.

There are also plans for three Airbnb rooms upstairs and living accommodation for owners and business partners Paul and Ian.

It is anticipated the Airbnb rooms will be ready by the autumn.

Paul said: “A huge amount of work has gone into transforming the place and we have had a brilliant team of local tradesmen involved who have fully modernised every aspect of the build.

“We bought the pub before energy prices went through the roof and so we had to make it sustainable going forwards and that is an expensive job to do.

“We have put insulation into all the walls, ceilings and floors and installed solar panels which will help with our energy efficiency.”

Work is currently ongoing to provide a fully walled beer garden at the front of the pub.

The first entrance to the car park has been closed off permanently to allow for the construction of the new beer terrace and to ensure access to the front of the pub is safe and free from vehicle movements.

Paul added: “Work is currently underway for the new beer garden at the front of the pub. This will provide a much safer environment for children and dogs.

“We have closed off the front entrance because it was a major safety concern and we have been fully supported in this decision by the highways and local council.

“We also have plans for the grassed area at the back, which we hope will be up and running soon with tables and chairs.

“It is our intention to put a conservatory at the back so we will be able to use this area all year round.”

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