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Top ranking for The Fox and Hounds pub in Steeple Bumpstead in Restaurant Guru guide is down to the 'whole team of staff' says owner




The owner of a village pub has expressed her delight after it was ranked the best in its area by an online guide.

The Fox and Hounds in Steeple Bumpstead was ranked number one out of 32 entries by The Restaurant Guru, a global online service that helps you find the best restaurants, caf├ęs and bars around you.

The pub, which has been solely owned by Kate Irwin since September 30, 2019, topped the rankings for 'pubs and bars' in the Haverhill area.

The Fox and Hounds owner Kate Irwin along with head chef David Jackson. Picture by Mecha Morton
The Fox and Hounds owner Kate Irwin along with head chef David Jackson. Picture by Mecha Morton

Restaurant Guru bases its rankings on customer reviews posted digitally on the likes of Google, Trip Advisor and Facebook.

Kate, who prior to buying the pub's freehold ran a bar in Majorca for more than two years, said the news came as a welcome shot in the arm during what is currently such a tough time for the hospitality industry.

She said: "It's really lifted the spirits. I passed it on to all my staff as well because without them I can't do it as well as I can and they were all delighted.

The Fox and Hounds in Steeple Bumpstead has been ranked first out of 32 pubs and restaurants in the Haverhill area by Restaurant Guru. Pub owner Kate Irwin is pictured with head chef David Jackson. Picture by Mecha Morton
The Fox and Hounds in Steeple Bumpstead has been ranked first out of 32 pubs and restaurants in the Haverhill area by Restaurant Guru. Pub owner Kate Irwin is pictured with head chef David Jackson. Picture by Mecha Morton

"It gave them a little pick me up."

With great foresight, Kate first introduced a takeaway service at the pub two days before the first coronavirus lockdown in March and has continued to operate it since.

She now runs it from midday to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and from midday to 5pm on Sundays with the help of her chef and one kitchen assistant. Four other staff are currently furloughed.

Kate Irwin, the owner of the Fox and Hounds in Steeple Bumpstead, along with head chef David Jackson. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Kate Irwin, the owner of the Fox and Hounds in Steeple Bumpstead, along with head chef David Jackson. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Everything is cooked freshly to order, explained Kate, which has proved popular with customers, including some who, as an example, return time and again for their Friday night fish and chips.

Kate, who delivers orders herself to those customers who are shielding, added: "There's a lot who are frightened to go out and some of the comments on our Facebook page are so grateful for the service. It really makes you feel so humble that you are needed and wanted in the village.

"I would like to thank all employees current and past for their help in us achieving this."

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