Tom Kerridge set to open new pub in Marlow

The Staff Canteen

After the success of two Michelin-starred, The Hand & Flowers, Tom Kerridge is opening a new pub in Marlow.

The Coach is set to be less formal than its two Michelin star sibling, offering good affordable food in a traditional English setting using Tom Kerridge's recipes.

The Staff Canteen was able to speak to Nick Beardshaw, Tom’s senior sous chef at The Hand & Flowers and soon to be head chef of The Coach.

When’s The Coach due to open?

“We’ve got November 20th pencilled in. That’s the handover date without any hiccups so we may have two or three days leeway on that and possibly some soft openings as well.”

How did you get involved?

“I’ve been at The Hand & Flowers for four years and we’ve evolved as a business. This is just an extension of that really and there’s quite a few of us moving to The Coach. It’s a natural evolution for all of the staff here.” Nick is one of many set to move on from The Hand & Flowers to Tom Kerridge’s new venture.

Do you have any particular style in mind for the menu?

“Stylistically, the values and virtues of food are the same but the concept is slightly different. First of all it’s no reservations and there’s not going to be three courses.” He said: “It’s going to be geared towards four or five plates per person and each dish will come when it’s ready. We’re going to have a rotisserie which is going to be a big feature, the kitchen is completely open and the food is cooked and served by the chef.”

What can customers expect?

“They can expect the same high standard of food that we strive for at The Hand & Flowers delivered in a much more informal environment. There will also be TV’s. It’s not going to be a sports bar but there will be screens with the football on. There won’t be any sound but it’s certainly going to be an informal atmosphere.” He said, “We always describe it as the kind of place we’d want to go on our days off. Somewhere you can go to have some lovely food and nice beer in a relaxed environment.”

What’s it like to work with Tom Kerridge?

“It’s absolutely great. I’ve been here for four years and there are quite a few of us who’ve stuck around. You get really well looked after, it’s great fun and it’s really exciting because there’s so much going on and we’re constantly growing. It’s a really good place to be and he’s a great person to work for.”

Is Tom quite hands on?

“He’s in The Hand & Flowers six days a week without fail. With him being so busy, he’s probably in the kitchen two to three times a week. He loves his business here and this is where it all started. It’s a big family sense within the staff.”

Will you see a lot of him at The Coach?

“Certainly at first. The businesses will operate independently but they are very much linked. The staff will be separate but I’m sure Tom will be there a lot, particularly while we’re getting started.”

How are you feeling about the launch?

“We’re going with the way food has evolved over the last 15 years or so. The catchment is much wider. A couple of years ago, people who ate in the top restaurants were the middle classes. Now it’s everybody. So we’re just moving with that, making it appealing to everybody in all walks of life so everyone can get the same standard of the food that we all love.”

Is The Coach going to compete with high-street coffee shops?

“We’ve seen the rise of the coffee shop over the last ten years or so and I guess the product we’re going to be delivering will compete with them. Particularly because we’re open for breakfast and we’re open all day on the high street with no reservations, people can just walk in. Having said that, we’ll definitely be more food-led than a coffee shop.”

By Tom Evans 

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Editor 20th October 2014

Tom Kerridge set to open new pub in Marlow