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The Bull in Troston near Bury St Edmunds restored to former glory




Two friends have become the toast of the village they have just moved to by restoring a popular pub to its former glory.

Ben Davenport and Sam Darling found The Bull, in Troston, near Bury St Edmunds, to be dusty with old crisp packets scattered around when they looked around. But despite the local not having seen life in two years, the pair were excited to take on their first venture.

“The locals have loved it,” said Sam, on the reaction to this month’s opening. “The village has been hugely supportive and we have been really busy.”

Our photographer Mark Wesley had an exclusive look around the pub.
Our photographer Mark Wesley had an exclusive look around the pub.

Since meeting around seven years ago, the pair have worked together in various pubs around East Anglia and felt now was the time to ‘take the plunge’ on their own.

Sam said: “It is a great venue, not far from Bury. It has a lovely building and garden.”

Arriving in October, the new landlords – who are also living in the building – had a lot of work on their hands to turn the pub around.

Sam and Ben have known each other for years. Picture by Mark Westley
Sam and Ben have known each other for years. Picture by Mark Westley

“It was a large tidy up job,” Sam said, “There was two-year-old stock that was going out of date. We got some friends who work in building to do some work. We have created a new open kitchen pass, which can create a nice atmosphere by bringing in some nice smells around the dining room.”

Another project has been to turn the overgrown back garden into a vegetable patch than can be used to grow some ingredients.

“It is not huge,” said Sam, “It is mostly for things that can compliment the dishes – like with the Morello cherry tree.

Ben Davenport and Sam Darling outside the pub Picture by Mark Westley
Ben Davenport and Sam Darling outside the pub Picture by Mark Westley

“All of our food supplies though are locally sourced from people we have worked with previously. We are getting fantastic produce.”

Sam and Ben arrived in October last year with hopes of opening in time for Christmas. However, due to Covid restrictions, they have needed to wait. They, and their nine staff, are looking forward to when customers will be able to see inside the pub come May 18.

Sam added: “Everyone has been asking if they can book a table. People have been coming in for a drink, as we are still a pub, but the meals have been popular and we have already had some good reviews.”

The pub will open its inside offering on May 18.
The pub will open its inside offering on May 18.

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