The heart of the community

PUBLISHED: 11:09 23 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:53 20 February 2013

The heart of the community

The heart of the community

Village pubs, once the heart and soul of the rural community, are having a tough time. Up and down the country many local inns are closing as habits change and pressures increase. But one Warwickshire publican is bucking the trend.


Village pubs, once the heart and soul of the rural community, are having a tough time. Up and down the country many local inns are closing as habits change and pressures increase. But one Warwickshire publican is bucking the trend.



Mark Hensher, who already runs the successful Shakespeare Inn in Welford on Avon, believes in tradition, and has opened another village pub - The White Horse in Ettington, which had been closed for two years.



"Local pubs are needed," says Mark. "They are the hub of the village. We provide support for the local schools and local football teams, we have a darts team and enjoy supporting all the key calendar dates with events.



"Without the local pub in the village there would be no community atmosphere. We believe that with the right offering and a warm atmosphere country pubs are the place to be, to sit and enjoy a great pint of local ale with the paper, or ladies having a get together with a few bottles of wine, to socialise with friends.



"We rely on repeat trade and building up a relationship with our customers so they become friends. People have set tables they like to eat on and set days in the week they will visit. If you provide customers with a warm welcome and the correct service, they will return."



Mark and his wife Jacqui believe that good food is essential. "It creates the right ambience in a pub," says Mark. "Its lovely to have people sitting at the bar, drinking and having people eating at tables.



"We like to provide fresh food - all our food is cooked to order. We have a veg man who delivers daily and meat is provided from Barry the Butcher. Everything we make is made from ingredients and put together in our new kitchen, It is such a joy to see a dish created, rather than ping in a microwave. It takes time but it is a whole lot better for you, as we do not provide processed food with all those nasty e numbers. Customers do appreciate it and we get a lot of great feed back.



Traditions are catered for too. The pub has retained its dart board, and Mark and Jacqui are happy to see customers bring their dogs.



"People love their dogs, so why not sit and have a meal with your dog lay under your table?" says Mark. "Lots have people asked if there would be a dress code when we opened. We know that people like to pop to the pub after work, especially as we open at 5pm. Its a country pub so people will have work boots on. Its their local pub. Our message to them is treat it as you would your home".



To contact The White Horse, telephone 01789 751417, or visit www.whitehorseinnettington.com. To contact the Shakespeare Inn, telephone 01789 740641 or visit www.shakespeareinnwelford.com.



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