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Cotswolds pub relaunches with fresh new look & five-star pub partners

The husband-and-wife team who were head chef and assistant manager at two of the country’s leading luxury hotel restaurants have taken on a Hawthorn Leisure pub – The Carpenters Arms – in the Oxfordshire village of Fulbrook.

Tom Addy was head chef at Stoke Park, a five-star luxury hotel, spa, golf and country club, in Buckinghamshire; while Siobhan Addy was part of the management team at Berkshire’s five-star Cliveden House Hotel.

The couple have made a significant investment alongside Hawthorn Leisure to refresh The Carpenters Arms and bring it up-to-date, with a refurbished, carpentry-themed interior, and a kitchen kitted out with the latest technology.

They also plan to open a pop-up shop within the Fulbrook Hill pub, selling fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, locally-produced wines, and some of Tom’s homemade stocks and sauces. The garden, which is expected to prove popular with tourists and walkers, will host summer barbecues and gin and beer festivals, starting with a children’s Easter egg hunt in April.

Tom plans to showcase his five-star menus with the launch of a Feasts Series, which will kick-off in late April. Starting with a welcome drink and canapes, each feast will centre around a season or a specific ingredient, with a five-course menu and accompanying wines, supplied by The Oxford Wine Company.

Having recently started a family of their own, the Addy's are keen to create a family-friendly pub, with a children’s menu that has been created with their own son in mind. They met in 2014 while working at the Michelin-starred Royal Oak Paley Street, in Maidenhead, which is co-owned by television personality Michael Parkinson and his son, Nick.

Tom said, “We’ve had plans ever since we met to have a place of our own, and we felt that now was the time to do so. We had several different opportunities, but when we came to view The Carpenters Arms it just felt right, and we thought our style and way of doing things would suit the village as well as the pub.”

The menu features gastropub-style food across several menus including a specials board. Typical dishes include:
· bar snacks: black pudding scotch egg, whitebait lemon mayo
· starters: citrus cured salmon, chicken liver parfait
· main dishes: beer batter haddock, pan fried lemon sole
· desserts: sticky toffee pudding, vanilla panna cotta.

“We’ve put together menus on which there’s always something for everyone,” explained Tom. “They’ll change often, and with the seasons, and our ingredients are sourced from suppliers within a 20-mile radius where possible. Even our drinks list, includes Oxfordshire gins, vodkas, rums and minerals.”

The initial response has been encouraging, said Tom, “The locals have been very supportive, with lots of them already having eaten here several times in the couple of weeks we’ve been open. We just want to create a really homely atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.”

Hawthorn Leisure managing director of operations, Mark McGinty said, “The Carpenters is already a popular village pub, but with top operators like Tom and Siobhan at the helm, there’s now a real point of difference.

“They have an absolute passion for delivering the highest quality food and drink at prices everyone can afford, in a very family-friendly environment, and in one of the prettiest Cotswold villages. Hawthorn Leisure wishes them well in this, their first venture, and we’ll now work to help them make this a successful, sustainable business.”