Welcome to Oakman Inns & Restaurants
- OUR STORY -
When the first Oakman Inn opened its doors in 2007, the vision behind it was simple: to create the perfect environment to come and enjoy great food and drink whilst catching up with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
Founded by entrepreneur and CEO Peter Borg-Neal, our company has established a new concept of the ‘modern public house’ by successfully transforming both historic and modern buildings into contemporary spaces that have a strong sense of identity and integration within the local communities they serve.
We apply that same level of care and attention to detail to the provenance of our food and drink, and using only the finest high-quality ingredients that are traceable and responsibly sourced, we are proud to serve Mediterranean-inspired dishes cooked in wood-fired ovens and on Josper grills using traditional cooking techniques.
Ten years after we opened The Akeman in Tring, and our passion for local food, inspiring design, and careful conservation has continued to grow – and we are honoured to have had that philosophy recognised with numerous awards and accolades. We know what it takes to deliver a memorable experience, and that’s why you’ll always find yourself at home in each of our Oakman inns.
- OUR AWARDS -
Our commitment to great food and even better service has earned Oakman Inns & Restaurants many awards during our 10-year history. In the past 12 months alone, we have proudly accepted not one but two accolades at The Publican Awards. Underscoring our excellent reputation, we were most recently named ‘Best Community Pub Operator’ – an award that we’ve received three times in four years!
Not only that but our CEO and Founder, Peter Borg-Neal, received a much-deserved ‘Business Leader of the Year 2017’ award which was voted for by the Publican Awards’ finalists and judges from a shortlist of six of the most admired senior business executives in the pub trade.
This award marked our seventh from The Publican Awards and we’d like to thank everyone in the industry for their continuing support.
Support is something we’re very familiar with at Oakman Inns as we understand that our greatest resource isn’t the historic buildings that form many of our bespoke inns, or the meticulously sourced ingredients that make our Mediterranean-inspired dishes; it’s the people who form our Oakman family. We’re delighted to say that approach is why we’ve entered the ranks of the Top 25 Best Companies To Work For in the UK, and we are delighted that our teams value us as much as we value them.
- SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY -
There’s no grand philosophy here, we just do what’s right: source good food and drinks, serve them with a smile, and support our local communities. Our aim is to run a business that we’re proud of; leaving things a little better than we found them, for our neighbours, the environment, and our guests. Animal welfare plays a large part in that approach and so we use family-run butchers who source their pork, lamb and beef from farmers who care for their animals, the chicken on our menu comes from British farmers with the Red Tractor accreditation, and our eggs are all free range.
The fish on our daily specials menu comes from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved suppliers making it traceable from ocean to plate, and our greengrocer, Reynolds, has not only supplied us with fresh, seasonal British produce since day one but they limit their environmental impact through the use of packing cases made with recyclable material and biodiesel. Our coffee is equally as traceable as we select only the finest Fairtrade coffee beans.
We take our responsibilities to the community extremely seriously. That’s why we are so proud to have accreditation for every one of our restaurants from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), an independent, not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting sustainability across the UK’s restaurant industry. The care and attention we give to our food is reflected in the sympathetic way we convert our many historic buildings into comfortable contemporary spaces that still retain their original features and charm.
Using less to create more is a driving force behind the decisions we make and we’re continually striving for reduced wastage, increased recycling and improved energy efficiency. In 2017 we removed all plastic straws from all our venues and we commissioned artist Lois Cordelia to produce a Green Man sculpture, which is displayed in The Akeman in Tring, using the remaining plastic straws.
Our close relationship with our guests and wider local communities is also reflected in our sponsorship of local rugby clubs and through our hosting of the Oakman Cup, a mini rugby festival that attracts hundreds of players aged seven to 10 years old. As one of the largest independent rugby festivals of its kind in the UK, the Oakman Cup was born out of CEO Peter Borg-Neal’s love for the game. A player with several clubs, First Team Coach, Director of Rugby and then Chairman of Tring Rugby Club, Peter knows what a difference a safe environment that promotes friendly competitive performance rather than competitive outcome can make to a young person. We’re delighted to help so many youths be part of an inspirational and exciting day of experiential rugby.
- KEY PEOPLE -
From humble beginnings as a 16 year old cellar boy in Reading, Berkshire, to Founder and CEO of one of the most unique brands in hospitality, Peter Borg-Neal has spent the past 40 years working in every aspect of the pub trade from the front lines, to managerial. This experience has given Peter clear insight into what it means to work at an Oakman Inn, and how each decision is ultimately reflected in the customer experience.It is that experience that’s driven Peter to deliver and maintain an offering that brings local communities together under one roof to enjoy great food and drink, and even better service.
A personal mantra that has offered some guidance over the years is ‘See. Think. Act.’ This simple quote dates back to when Peter was a trustee of the National Autistic Society, and the former chairman, the late Tony Kay, told him that those three words were the only three things in management he would ever need. Whilst not taking it literally, this approach has certainly helped to shape Oakman Inns & Restaurants into an award-winning company and employer with more than 1000 team members and 24 properties throughout the Home Counties and Midlands.