Picture shows the team waiting to welcome customers back into the Leaping Salmon at 6 pm on Saturday August 25: firm date and invitation out to all.
Left to right starts with pub managers Fred Andrews and Max Phillips, both 28, Plymouth-schooled and experienced on the Devon catering scene. Next is Reuben Johnson, from Buckfastleigh, chef, 23.
Then Rachael Gomery, manager of the cafe, another 28-year-old, hired in from Plymouth.
Missing from the picture is gardener and kitchen hand Paddy Mackenzie, 28, originally from Modbury, who will grow for the kitchens. More staff will be coming in later but these are the central team readying for the full opening.
The picture below gives a glimpse of the reburbishment.style, as it looks around the old fireplace.
A good swoop of bar has just been installed, just off left of picture, quite similar in shape to the last old one
Furnishing it is the last big job. Rachael is holding one of a fish plate set somebody donated – though not a salmon, if you look closely. Possibly a perch.
The famous village pub closed at the end of 2015, after a period of starting up and stopping again. At one point the Co-op tried to turn it into a supermarket but it would have meant losing the car park and local objections were successful. Then the long-time owners, Enterprise Inns, gave up trying to find another leaseholder and decided to sell the building outright.
Local businessman Chris Andrews, who works in the hotel trade in London but brought his family up at the Sortridge edge of Horrabridge, bought it in the summer of 2017.
Ever since then he and his family have been engaged in planning and executing a comprehensive refurbishment which includes a cafe, function room and bed and breakfast accommodation, as well as new kitchens and toilets, bar room and dining area.
They ripped out tons of concrete laid in piecemeal alterations over three centuries in the course of trying to find the original shape of the main interior.
The cafe, which is open Tuesdays to Saturdays inclusive, has been open a month and is doing well. And the pub itself is now ready to follow, opening every day except Mondays after the opening do.
Fred Andrews said yesterday: “Opening night, from 6 pm, will be for drinks and a few bar snacks. We’re taking bookings for food for the week after, starting on the Tuesday, August 28th.”
Next Saturday is a busy one. In Weir Park, the London Inn and Radio Walkham have organised a family day, poster below, bringing back the traditional barrel race and tug o war. Over the whole weekend, Friday to Monday, the Old Minehouse hosts its annual festival, with fairly loud music, events and camping. Saturday afternoon is Walkhampton Flower & Produce Show. Sunday is the Sampford Spiney Sheepdog Trials on Plasterdown.
Tonight (Friday Aug 19), a tour date by real New Orleans band the Dirty Bourbon River Show at The Wharf. Check them out at
See more about coming events within reach of round yer at