Springtime Construction At The Greyhound

It’s come to that time of year again when we look at what parts of the pub we can adapt and assess what parts need restoration.

Managing and running a busy pub like this involves countless daily duties, many of which are dependant on mechanical and architectural features of the building remaining intact. Part of managing this place requires us to keep tabs on how the building is keeping up, if there are any issues that are becoming more prevalent then we make a note of it and make sure that its fixed, so that it doesn’t affect our business in the long run.

As some of our regular customers might be aware, we’ve recently closed up our dining conservatory in order to get some work done, this includes replacing the old tiles floors, re-varnishing the furniture and also replacing the entire roof!

As you might imagine, replacement conservatory roofs don’t come cheap, so we’re grateful that we’ve had such a good year and can afford to get it done. Our dining conservatory has been a key element of our offering here at The Greyhound for years and it’s something that our regular customers have come to look forward to spending time in, especially during the summer.

We’ll be replacing the mostly wooden and tile conservatory roof with a modern composite design that should last decades and we’ll also be replacing the windows whilst we’re at it too. Although some might have come to like the rather ramshackle look of our conservatory, the single glazing made it a rather frigid place to hang out in during the winter.

These new changes should go a long way to making the conservatory a comfortable place to eat and drink the whole year round. We’ll be re-opening the conservatory in summer with a biq BBQ bash that will give you the chance to check out the completed work, as well as sample some food from our newly updated menu.

Summer is always a busy time for us and we take your enjoyment of those precious long afternoon and evening sessions seriously. Whilst the conservatory is being worked on we’ll be hard at work developing exciting new food for summer, as well sourcing new beers to accompany them. We’ll also be setting a new summer schedule, which will include movie nights in the new conservatory, board game events and plenty of opportunity to catch all the action that ICC World Cup will have to offer.

Please bear with us whilst we make these changes to the pub. Although the conservatory will likely be closed for at least 6 weeks, we’ll have plenty of additional temporary seating opened up at the front of the pub for punters to enjoy the fine weather and the fresh air. Our menu will be changing over in a matter of weeks, so now’s the time to enjoy your spring favourites, such as out Pan-Asian Platter and Beer Tasting Board.

Summer will soon be upon us and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store!

Back To Work

A new beer arrives and we all get back from holiday…

As the barometer steadily rises we get stuck back into work and we’re bringing a new beer keg behind the bar.

The team has returned to work!

It’s business as usual here as we all crack back on with our duties. The drive back from Bowland was one that we’re not going to forget about for a while – something that you don’t usually say about the journey back from a holiday. We had all struggled to get back on our feet after ‘just a few pints’ had (inevitably) turned into a heavy drinking session. Although the drive should have only taken a couple of hours, the road back was certainly not as smooth as it was on the way there.

The last thing we needed driving back home from holiday was driving rain and gale force wind – but that’s what we got. As we crawled our way back to The Greyhound we all found ourselves dreaming of past holidays which were, surprisingly, all a long way from our current miserable conditions. The minibus soon became a sounding board for all of our favourite holidays: villas in south France, camping in Mexico and hunting lodges in Scotland were amongst just a few of the highlights. Before we knew it the journey was done and we were back to work!

Keeping Clean: Our Commitment to Hygiene

Cleanliness from the back of house all the way to the front.

We’re pretty proud of our reputation here and we believe its necessary to do whatever it takes to keep it.

Gone are the days of grimy pubs being the standard!

Some old geezers will argue that you can’t call your drinking establishment a pub until there’s a decent layer of grime over your windows and furniture. Then again, this ageing group of drinkers will also tell you that no boozer is complete without a ‘fruity’ in the corner, a broken jukebox and ash trays on all the tables. The pub industry has changed a great deal in the last few decades. As the number of independent pubs has began shrinking, landlords have been forced to assess their approach to the business and adapt to the demands that their new clientele have.

No longer can pubs get away with be being a little dirty in order to provide some ‘atmosphere’. A modern pub is now judged at the same hygiene standards as a Michelin-starred restaurant and if we’re given a low-rating then it serves as a red-flag to any new customers who are certain to think twice before taking a risk. We believe there’s no excuse for mess, especially when it threatens to ruin someone’s experience of our establishment, which is why we are committed to absolute cleanliness both front and back of house.

Health & Safety Refresher Course

Keeping a pub clean is no easy task: pints get spilled and messes get made everyday, but staying on top of hygiene is as much a psychological battle as a physical one. As much as cleanliness might seem like a pretty cut and dry standard, it’s surprising how wide an individual’s perspective on it can be. One person’s ‘spick and span’ might well be another person’s ‘filthy’, this is why we make sure to train all our staff on the meticulous standards that are required to keep a pub like ours in top drawer condition.

Every team member here, from our managers and bar keepers to our waiting staff and kitchen porters have been given the same high-level training across the board to ensure that, despite how we keep our own homes, The Grey Hound stays in an immaculate, hygienic state for all.

Deep-cleaning our ovens

Of course keeping a pub clean is about more than just scrubbing the decks and floors each night. Complete hygiene requires every nook, cranny and crevice of a pub to be kept clean which includes the ovens!

Its probably safe to say that our ovens are the most used piece of equipment that we have in the pub. Along with the deep-fat fryers they’re instrumental in the efficient and hygienic cooking of most of our meals so it’s obviously important that we keep them as clean as possible. As much as our chefs give everything in our kitchen a good go over each day of the week, they’re not the best oven cleaners in the world – which is why twice a year we call in the professionals.

Ovenu, our local oven cleaning gurus, have been seeing to our ovens for the last 4 years. We trust them implicitly to get our hard-worked ovens back to tip-top conditions, we know that they do a good job because our chefs have always got big smiles on their faces when they leave and, as we all know, a happy chef makes happy food!

June Brings A New Beer and Tasty Food

Summer always has a way of sneaking up on you…

Although it might just feel like a couple of months since we were all shivering in our boots, we’re certainly not shivering anymore!

It’s been getting warmer and warmer since we got back from our little trip away and we’ve all been busier as a result. Pubs provide the kind of respite and comfort that is so vital to the British weather. During the biting Winter, when the wind cuts right through a man, they provide a warm cosy place to find refuge in and during the long summer they’re a perfect place to while away the blissful balmy evenings.

Although there are a couple of us here who love nothing more than a warming pint of Stout on a cold Winter’s day, I think we’re all united in our love for a refreshing pint of IPA during the Summer. We happen to believe that there’s nothing better than a decent pint of ale, a platter of complementary pub grub and good company on a Summer’s day – so it’s a good thing that we all work in a pub!

We’ve spent the last few weeks prepping The Greyhound for the coming onslaught of the Summer peak season, as well as trying to watch as much of the World Cup as possible. At the moment it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be lifting the trophy in July – we might even see England take the title! In the mean time thought, we’ll just focus on bringing you some lovely new beer to try.

After the roaring success of last month’s beer, Tribute, we’re happy to reveal June’s beer…

Coming from a little further afield than Cornwall, this month’s beer is made by a company with considerably less years on the clock than St. Austell’s Brewery. Born in 1996, Three Floyds started out with a handful of junk-parts and have since grown into one of America’s most celebrated independent breweries. Based in Munster, Indiana, this initially small team has slowly expanded over the last two decades, producing such a wide variety of inventive beverages that it has become truly impossible to pigeon hole them.

Take their Owd Engwish Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, this English-style wine is aged for a year in barrels from Kentucky’s Bourbon County, whilst their Space Station Middle Finger is a gloriously riotous golden American Pale Ale which is as vibrant in the mouth as you’d expect it to be. We’ve taken a bit of a risk with this shipment, as the beer is certainly a left-field choice that’s likely not to be to everyone’s taste, but we’re hoping that curiosity will get the better of most of our regulars.

Dreadnaught Indian Pale Ale is the intimidatingly named Imperial IPA that packs more than a considerable punch in terms of both ABV and hops. Weighing in at a strength of 9.5%, we wouldn’t recommend spending a whole evening drinking this, but it certainly makes for a good start to a session. We’ll have this on tap for the rest of the month or until it runs out, so get it whilst you can!

We’re all happy to be back to work and can’t wait to crack on with Summer!

New Noodles from Jess plus July’s Beer of the Month

Sip some history with a hot bowl of noodles this month…

We’re keeping this fresh this month with a summer bowl of goodness from one of our new starters paired with one of the UK’s oldest beers.

Who’s ready for noodles?

We’re dead proud of the work our chefs have put into this new dish and we know they can’t wait to serve it up for you.

The food we make here at The Greyhound pays tribute to the thousands of miles that our founder Charles Breakforth covered as a merchant trader in the 19th century. Like our founder, the chefs that we hire are cut from a different cloth. They’re innovative, adventurous and invariably a little mad, but they’re all joined together by their love for travelling. Although we’re proud to have served some of our dishes for upwards of 10 years now, we know there’s always room for improvement, so every month we ask our chefs to dream up a new dish that champions an exotic ingredient or puts a cunning twist on a classic.

This month our new starter Jess has been guided through the creation process by head chef Rory to produce a new dish that should put a smile on the face of any backpacker who’s visited South East Asia. Jess and Rory’s Sweet & Sticky Pad Thai takes everything that’s great about this classic noodle dish and add a deliciously carnal twist to the proceedings that makes this bowl impossible to resist. We’ll let Jess explain further:

“When I was travelling through Thailand last year I became totally addicted to Pad Thai. I’d never been that adventurous with my food choices before, mostly sticking to British and French classics when I cook, so watching the amazing Thai chefs out there I was blown away by how quickly these fantastic dishes could be smashed out. By the end of my trip I’d enrolled in a course of lessons in Thai cookery so that I could keep feeding my new habit when I got back home.

Rory helped me develop this dish into something more than just a standard Pad Thai. Instead of stir-frying all the ingredients together, we prepare the chicken separately. Thigh meat is stripped from the bone, sliced and then soaked over night in a super sticky marinade. We fire this chicken over our charcoal grill and stack them on the bowl of noodles at the pass: a BBQ twist on a Thai classic and hopefully something Charles would approve of!

July’s Beer of the Month…

A little longer than the tooth than most, but certainly a brew to still pay attention to, Bishops Finger Kentish Strong Ale happens to be one of the oldest brews in the UK from Britain’s oldest brewer. Whilst there are an endless tide of new beers and craft brewers cropping up in the UK every week, we though it would be a good idea to devote a tap this month to a beer that wouldn’t have been much different to what our founder would have quaffed. Officially founded in 1698, there is evidence to suggest that Shepherd Neames (as it’s been known since 1864) has been operating a good deal longer.

Bishops Finger was the first beer developed by the venerable brewers after malt rationing was eased in the UK which allowed them to make it their strongest yet. Thanks to the local water, hops and barley that have been used to make it since 1958, Bishop’s Finger EU Protected Geographical Indication. This is a quintessentially British beer that delivers on a roasty toffee sweetness whilst still packing a bitter fruity after-punch.

We’ll be keeping this popular ale on tap until the end of the month, so why not come down and sip a pint or two with us?

Team Greyhound’s Bowland Adventure

Everyone needs a break once in a while and that includes us here at The Greyhound.

Holidays are important, they give us a chance to recharge our batteries and take a much-needed breather from our day-to-day lives.

5 years ago we organised our first ever Greyhound away day to London. It was boozy, raucous and expensive, but it also offered our team a chance to share a fun experience that was separate from their work lives. We’ve got no doubts whatsoever that our team came back from that first trip a closer bunch of friends than they were when they set out – which is why we’ve made it an annual event ever since.

This year we decided to take our team out into the wild expanse of the Forest of Bowland. With over 800 square kilometres of sprawling landscape to explore you’d thing we’d have spent our time hiking, however (surprise, surprise!) we spent more time nosing around some of the best pubs in the area and tasting some of the best local brews.

So, how did we settle on the Forest of Bowland as our destination this year?

It was a matter of serendipity, largely thanks to our Head Chef who was looking for caravans for sale in Yorkshire back in November 2017. Rory stumbled across Bowland Fell Park whilst he was hunting for a place to call home (some of the time at least) and although he decided against the purchase when he was viewing static homes there, he was still swept away by the sheer natural beauty that was on offer in the area. He came back from that weekend positively buzzing, showing us pictures and raving about the stellar pubs on offer. A week later we’d booked a stay at the Park and that lead us to a bright but brisk day in April…

Having offloaded our gear at Bowland Fell our first port of call was the venerable Bowland Brewery. Starting life as a microbrewery, the team here has quickly expanded with the business offering tours around their brewery at Holmes Mill and plenty of drinks at Bowland Beer Hall, their dedicated pub which serves beer from a staggering 42 hand pulls at a time. The Beer Hall and Brewery were soon established as key tourist attractions and have proved to be a real boon for the surrounding area.

We won’t spoil the details of the wonderful Brewery Tour, but suffice it to say that it left us all with more than a passing thirst for some ale. Although Rory and Tim were initially keen to tackle all 24 beers on offer, they both looked defeated after just 6 half pints, so much for being able to drink the young’uns under the table!

The whole team were a little shaky on their feet by the time we left Holmes Mills, so it was a good thing that our restaurant for the night was just around the corner. Clitheroe might seem like a strange place to open a Greek restaurant, but that’s exactly what the team behind Brizola have done. Despite only opening in 2017, this chic Bar & Grill has quickly drummed up a reputation for being one of the best places to eat and our own chefs were quick to agree.

After multiple plates of grilled meats, skewers and a truly delicious Beef Stamna we were all stuffed and more than ready to drop dead back at Bowland Fell.

It’s amazing how just one day away can bring a team together and we’re so glad that this year’s trip was yet another success!

Foodie Nights, World Cup Sweeps & More…

There’s plenty going on at The Greyhound in the next few weeks…

Since the weather’s started cheering up we’ve been busying ourselves planning some fun events and competitions that should go along way to keeping our regulars entertained throughout the upcoming summer season.

We’ve always thought that pubs should be much more than places to drink beer and eat, that’s why we’ve massively re-hauled our social calendar for the next few months with the intention of changing The Greyhound from a standard boozer into a vibrant social hub that should stand tall at the centre of our community. With that in mind, our team has been busy planning and preparing for the future with the hope of potentially making some of these events a regular occurrence.

Pop in for a chat if you fancy taking part in any of these and we’ll be glad to sign you up:

Foodie Nights

Our chefs are always looking for an excuse to share their passion for food with, so we thought we’d give them a platform to shout from. Over the next few months each one of our talented chefs will be taking over the backroom of our pub for a 2-hour foodie extravaganza. For those looking for a high-brow experience we’ll be running a Cheese & Wine Tasting offering a pairing with each of the spectacular cheeses that we’re currently featuring on our cheese board. In the following weeks you can look forward to a Curry Night and a showcase of some fantastic local produce.

World Cup Sweeps

You don’t have to be football crazy to know that another World Cup will be taking over our screens in a couple of months time. As ever, the mood in the pub has been apathetic, bordering on pessimistic in regards to England’s chance of actually winning the competition, so we thought we’d try and get everyone a bit more invested by sorting out a sweepstake competition. There’ll be 32 teams to pick out of a hat and a limit of one team per person. Entry is a fiver per person, so there’ll be a jackpot of £160 up for grabs by the time the final winds around on the 15th July.

Open Mic Nights

Finally, we’re looking forward to getting some live music in the pub. Although we know the chefs are eager to get a gig sorted for their Queen tribute band, we thought we’d give them a few more months practice and give the general public (that’s you!) a chance to prove themselves on our brand new stage. We’ll be welcoming performers from all backgrounds to jump on our stage, it doesn’t matter what instrument you play or what kind of music you play – we want to hear you!

Please feel free to send us a message on the Contact page should you be interested in taking part in any of the above.

Kitchen Repairs & New Dishes Incoming

Flamin’ ovens and brand new dishes…

One of the issues that a busy pub will inevitably come up against in this day and age is appliance breakdowns, which is exactly what happened to us last weekend.

Although the visible section of our pub might well evince a time of yore (namely the Empire founding colonial era that made our founder’s name) the back of house section is anything but old school.

We realised a long time ago that whilst our customers obviously prefer eating and drinking in the traditional surroundings, our chefs would much rather work in an ultra-modern environment. With that in mind we’ve spent the last 5 years slowly updating and expanding our kitchen so that our chefs can cook to their best abilities and our customer can get the very best value.

Over the course of hundreds of lunch and dinner services we’re bound to come across a few issues along the way and, recently, we’ve been hit with more than a handful of them.

To our young pot-washers’ alarm we’ve had some catastrophic issues with our dishwasher which has led to them having to meticulously hand-wash every single piece of cookware and crockery that’s going through the kitchen, making their jobs a whole lot more difficult.

But it’s not just just the potwashers who are having difficulties at the moment. For the last few weeks our 30-year old range cookers, which have proven unflagging in their service for so long, have started exhibiting all kinds of strange behaviours. We’ve had rogue flame-ups, knobs popping off and oven doors refusing to open in the last week or so which has undoubtedly made all of our jobs a lot more difficult.

We’re not ones to procrastinate here though, especially when our chefs are struggling so much with getting their food out as good as it should be. Before we had a mutiny on our hands we jumped straight online to order some cooker spares and also bought in the necessary parts for the dishwasher at the same time. Thanks to our handy staff here at the Greyhound, we’re lucky to not have to hire any repairmen whenever something breaks down – our chefs are naturally gifted technicians (as well as great cooks) which makes repairing appliances a much easier (and more affordable) task.

With our ovens and dishwasher back in good working order our creative team were free to get on with the work in hand, namely creating some fantastic new dishes for our upcoming Spring menu. There are a few dishes on our menu that we’re proud to have served for years now, namely our Gurkha chicken curry and our Caribbean jerk-fried chicken. We understand that our regulars would be gutted if we ever took these much-loved meals off the menu, but that hasn’t stopped us from continually striving to create more dishes. After all, you never know when you might stumble upon the next big pub classic!

At the moment, our kitchen team have been working on a handful of new ideas, drawing in such varied influences as Tibet, the Deep South and Saharan African cuisine.

Our aim is always to surprise and delight – we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been getting up to!

April’s Beer of the Month & New Additions

Can you feel the weather getting warmer?

Spring is finally here and we’ve made a raft of refreshing changes to our lineup here at the Greyhound including a fresh (typically tasty) beer of the month and a new crew of friendly faces!

April’s Beer of the Month is…St. Austell Brewery’s Tribute!

Just like our pub, Tribute has got a fantastic heritage that has helped it become one of the most popular ales in the country. Originally brewed in 1999 as a limited edition beer celebrating the total eclipse, Daylight Robbery (as it was known then) was simply too good to be forgotten. The recipe was kept safe so that it could later be relaunched under the name of Tribute, a literal ‘tribute’ to the drinkers, brewers and workers who had contributed to the success of St. Austell Brewery’s, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2001.

Within a year of re-launching over 1,000,000 pints of the golden pale ale had been sold, making Tribute one of the most popular beers in the country and all of this before the explosion of popularity that was soon to completely revitalise the drinks industry in the UK. By 2004 Tribute was crowned Champion Beer of Cornwall and was in sale nationwide in supermarkets, as well as being in high demand in public houses.

It’s been nearly 20 years sine this iconic pale ale was first put into production, yet it’s popularity refuses to wane. The beer has kept in the spotlight with a string of high-profile sponsorship deals, with Hackney cabs in London, international rugby players and county cricket teams alike proudly emblazoning the Tribute branding. You’ll also spot this mighty Cornish brew up in the air on both Flybe and British Airway flights – they’re also an official partner of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

There’ll be a constant supply of Tribute on sale at The Greyhound for the rest of the month if you fancy popping down and seeing what all the fuss is about.

New Smiling Faces!

As some of our regulars might well have noticed, there are a handful of new faces both behind and in front of the bar. Last month we said goodbye to Alex and Laura, both of whom had worked with us since the age of 16! The pair of intrepid explorers have been earnestly saving for well over a year so that they can run off on a whirlwind trip all around the world. We wish them the very best of luck and look forward to tracking their progress as they go.

Although we knew we were always going to struggle replacing such characters as Alex and Laura, we’re happy to welcome not one, not two, but three new faces in to fill their positions behind the bar and in front of house. Jake is just 15 years old but he’s keen as mustard and ready to take your food orders. Paula is 19, a keen traveller herself, but has promised to not go jetsetting for at least 6 months, she’ll be working behind the bar. Finally, we’ve got a new sous chef in the kitchen in the shape of Jess, 24. A recent college graduate, she’s looking to cut her teeth on our brand new Empire-themed menu.

Don’t hesitate to say hello to our new starters, they’re all chomping at the bit to meet you all!