It was with mounting anticipation that over fifty Plough Inn supporters awaited the latest announcements over the Longparish pub. The online meeting had been called to cover the latest developments at the community owned pub.
Plans are progressing well, with some very important milestones reached.
These included the approval of the Premises Licence, appointment of key drinks partners, shortlisting of wine and other essential suppliers, and very importantly the recruitment and appointment of a manager. Chef recruitment is to commence next week.
Meanwhile volunteers have been hard at work on the building with the manager’s flat underway, bar reshaping in place, and electrics being fixed. Much work has also taken place on the layout and the outside area.
Two main aspects of the works were announced in detail – Branding and Interior Design.
The Plough branding was unveiled by Mark Jarman, who has much experience with national branding in the drinks industry. The branding was described as being “to re-establish The Plough Inn as a part of the beating heart and cultural fabric of the village – run by the community for the good of all the community” and to make a strength of its history as a pub serving both travellers and the local community since 1721.
Mark went through the general concepts as well as some of the aspects of brand identity including signage, the menu, and website.
Jo Parker, a local interior designer, ran through the internal style that had been selected, using themes, colours and materials that “reflect the surroundings – the River Test, the fields, the woodland, the wildlife, our village.”
Examples were displayed along with plans of the bar and restaurant area, the new toilet facilities and the community room, to be named The River Room. This could be used for such uses as private dining, meeting, art exhibitions, parties, and lots more.
External works and the garden design is work in progress, and will tie in with the themes within the pub. There will also be cycle parking and electric charging points as part of the ‘green’ credentials of the Plough Inn.
Amazed, would be an understatement by those present. The amount of work that has already been undertaken is phenomenal and all were in awe at the achievements to date. Local people have supported the venture not just with physical work but also by provision of photographs, paintings, furniture and other local artefacts, all of which will all add to the character of this community pub.
The next steps include a Shareholder Special Meeting, continuation of the refurbishment programme – electric works, cellar and kitchen refit, and the tough job of tasting and selecting the product range!
Aims are currently for an opening in late July/early August, in which there is “high confidence”.
We cannot wait.
The Plough Inn at Longparish is returning.