Vicar Pulls Pints For All at Re-Opening of Historic Riverside Pub in Warwickshire
Following a substantial and imaginative £1.9m restoration project, The Four Alls in Welford-on-Avon near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, re-opened for business on Friday 1st June after the new team entertained 300 guests to a splendid evening.
Undeterred by the threat of dreadful weather the local guests arrived and were welcomed by the new General Manager, Claudia Reiter, and her team with glasses of fizz and a huge selection of menu tasters throughout the evening, while they discovered the changes inside and out. These alterations have resulted in a new kind of pub – somehow rural, peaceful and long-established, yet irrevocably linked to the modern, serving delicious food inspired by the Mediterranean, and all set in picturesque surroundings.
The pub, which was an incongruous assortment of extensions and buildings, has been imaginatively restored and extended. Outside, the car park has been moved away from the river and is now double its original size allowing the reclaimed Avon riverbank to become pretty, landscaped gardens with a newly paved al fresco terrace.
Inside, an inglenook fireplace has been added in the bar to recreate the cosy feel of a traditional pub while the adjacent barn has been restored to provide an additional dining area as well as dedicated space for larger groups and parties. An elegant, glazed extension facing the river, provides a new light-filled restaurant for up to 80 guests with Oakman’s hallmark theatre-style open kitchen with Josper charcoal grill and wood-fired pizza oven.
Claudia, who had previously worked with Raymond Blanc for over 16 years, is delighted with the new pub – and the community it serves: “Welford is a beautiful village and my fiancé and I have been welcomed with open arms. I’ve already met and made so many new friends, and not just from Welford but also from Stratford and Alcester - we’re getting so many compliments that I have to keep pinching myself.”
The first pint was pulled by Rev Ros Greenhalgh, Rector of Welford-on-Avon, (pictured) who commented: “A truly wonderful evening was had by ‘all’ at the opening of the The Four ‘Alls’. I’m not sure there were any monarchs, who rule for all, or soldiers, who fight for all, present but we definitely had some councillors there who “work for all’ and a farmer or two who are traditionally supposed to say they’ll “pay for all’. What is certain is that, as the local minister, I was delighted to say that I “pray for all”, when I pulled the first pint “for all”.”
Another guest, Victoria Alcock, Co-Director of The Family Network, said: “I was very impressed with the whole refurb, the restaurant looks amazing and the food was cooked to perfection and I was very happy to see the different dietary requirements on offer. The space outside is perfect for families and we are very much looking forward to hosting one of our Business Networking events there in the very near future.”
Shilpa Patel, MD of Travel Counsellors in Stratford-upon-Avon, was also impressed: “The new owners have made a great improvement to The Four Alls. I love the interior, particularly the bi-fold doors which make it look open and airy as well as plenty of outdoor seating. We were invited to a practice lunch last week, and it was delicious with plenty of attention to detail. All the staff were friendly and provided a service where nothing was too much trouble. I’m hoping to return soon!”
Oakman Inns’ CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “This is Oakman’s 22nd opening, and our second in Warwickshire, and I hope everyone locally is as enthusiastic as I am by the transformation of The Four Alls. With a super team in place, led by Claudia, we believe that this fabulous pub can now fulfil its potential.”
With a passion for freshly prepared, seasonal food, The Four Alls’ all-day, Mediterranean-inspired menu will be served from breakfast until late. Thanks to a theatre-style open kitchen, diners can watch the chefs grilling and roasting their orders over the Josper charcoal ovens while hand-crafted, Italian pizzas are produced in their wood-fired oven. With an imaginative and delicious range of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes, a children’s menu together with daily specials and tempting desserts, there is something to suit all tastes and occasions.