Thaxted pub completes its turnaround with hygiene award

THE landlords of a historic Thaxted pub are this week celebrating a dramatic turnaround in fortunes.

Frankie and Jude Miller took over the pub in Mill End – formerly The Rose and Crown but now called the Maypole to coincides with the villages’ traditions – which made national headlines when it was closed by then-owner, Nicholas Marchetto, after 23 separate hygiene regulations were broken.

However, in 10 short months the mother and daughter team have managed to restore some of the pub’s old charm – culminating in a maximum five-star rating in a recent health and safety inspection carried out by officers at Uttlesford District Council. The rating takes into account a number of factors, including how food is handled, prepared and cooked, how the pub is managed and cleanliness.

Frankie Miller said: “We knew the pub’s reputation and what we were taking on.

“It has been a lot of hard work to get the pub cleaned up and, with this award, we now feel we are in a position to build up its good reputation again.

“We are really proud of what we have done.”

Frankie and Jude admit they area “publicans”, not restaurateurs and, as such, spent the first few months of their tenure transforming the bar area in the 16th century pub.

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However, to bring the kitchen facilities back up to standards they employed Karen Ives as head chef.

“It was luck really – Karen was leaving her job at another pub in the area and we were looking for someone,” said Frankie. “She has tremendous experience, some 15 years, in that field and has been inspirational in turning the kitchen around.”

She added: “We know it is going to be difficult to turn everyone’s opinion but we are getting back the old locals, both in the bar and to eat.

“We feel we have made the best of a nice pub in a nice town. Business is picking up and we are focussed on attracting new customers, both tourists and locals.”

The Maypole serves food Thursday to Sunday, as well as Pie and Mash day on Mondays, and host events such as curry nights.