Well hello 2018!
Sorry it's been a while but we had a little bit of down time over Christmas.
After so much stress and time with the solicitors I can't believe we're now two weeks into our renovation of our new site in Tring. Unfortunately most of these two weeks have been spent removing all the rubbish that was left behind but we're now seeing some real changes.
Our new bar area was the first part to change. It started out as two rooms divided by a white wall with a tiny door in the middle. One day I popped in and the guys had smashed out the wall and opened the room up. The light was now pouring into the bar and it looked absolutely stunning. They have now opened up a new door way that our guest will use to access the downstairs toilets. I can't wait to see this space when it's finished and the daylight is pouring in through those massive windows!
The other major change in these two weeks was when the chaps knocked out the wall to open up the kitchen and dining room. This is where Scott will be creating all his delicious food right in front of our 15 lucky guests each service. Again this room is going to be stunning especially in the summer with the sun light coming through our large windows. If you've been to Potten End you can already see that Tring is going to be very special indeed.
There's still a huge amount of work to be done in order to hit our late April opening target but we have some great builders onboard. Over the next few weeks well continue stripping bits out and start re-wiring & plumbing the building from top to bottom.
I'll finish this post by saying a huge thank you to the people of Tring and especially the local businesses. We've had a huge amount of support from local businesses and can't say thank you enough. Keep an eye for more news of these superstars who are 100% behind Crockers Tring.
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more news!
As we approach the end of a fantastic year we prepare to bring you yet another great tasting menu.
January Tasting Menu
Bread – Tring Brewery beer bread with whipped Marmite butter.
Snacks – To be eaten with your fingers.
Onion* – Onion cooked in beef fat, mushroom, thyme and Montgomery cheddar.
Hake – Cornish Hake , cauliflower, bacon, monks beard.
Duck* – Goosnargh Duck, turnip, clementine, nasturtium.
Premier Cheese – Cheese from Eric Charriaux’s van.
Chocolate* – White chocolate, rhubarb and ginger.
* denotes the courses on the three course menu
Bookings are already open and filling up fast for January, February and March. Don’t miss out on these last months in Potten End before our big move to Tring in April, book your seats now.
The time has come to finally reveal where we will be moving our little restaurant to. Scott and I first viewed this property in early June 2017 and have been keeping this little secret the whole time. Trust me it has been hard and I’ve wanted to tell everyone all the time!
So where are we off to? Come Spring 2018 we will be making the beautiful market town of Tring our new home. A lot of people have guessed it and many have seen the notifications in the local papers. I apologise to those that we have completely denied the fact we’re moving to Tring to. I wanted to keep it quiet until we had planning permission and signed the lease. Where in Tring will we be? We’re taking over the old Hyatt’s Photography Studio just down from the library.
I’m sure a lot of people will want to know why we chose to move to Tring? There have been plenty of guests giving their opinions on where we should move to, especially when not asked for. As with Potten End it was a stroke of luck. I was in speaking with Ben and Kate at Campfire Gin saying I was finding it hard to find another venue. Ben mentioned that the Hyatt’s building was becoming available, how he knew I don’t know but Ben is very well connected in the town.
A quick bit of digging led to me to find out who the agent was and a viewing was booked very quickly. The rest as they say is history. Obviously our guests have been very interested in where we are moving and I hope that they will find this as exciting as we do. We will be converting the ground floor into a wine & cocktail bar, the first floor will become the new Chef’s Table with a big view into the new open kitchen.
When will we open? We already have people begging to book in to our new Tring home but we currently don’t have an opening date. We are aiming for an opening in April at this time but that will be confirmed as soon as possible. I’m currently working on a new website for Crockers Tring which should be finished and live for bookings in January. If any of our guests have any questions please drop me an email at email@example.com and make sure you find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’ll be documenting the works and progress as we work towards opening our new home.
I would love to take a few minutes to address the very real elephant in the (dining) room. It is something that is becoming a more regular occurrence across the hospitality industry. It causes a lot of stress for the kitchen team, can have a huge impact on the personal experience of the guest as well as the experience of others. So what is it?
The Faux Allergy
Now this could be a very touchy subject for me to broach. All across the country and no doubt the world the faux allergy is becoming a real problem for hospitality. What is a faux allergy? It’s exactly what it says on the tin.
A guest may book and tell a restaurant that they have an allergy only to completely U turn on it part way through the meal. For example, we may have a booking were a guest says they are gluten free. Now this isn’t an issue, we will simply substitute the bread for gluten free bread and leave out any other elements that contain gluten. Pretty simple hey? What if that same guest then sees the delicious, freshly baked bread on the table and says “oh I’ll just have a little bit”? Or they see that they don’t get a lovely crumb on their dessert but tries a bit off their partners? As if by magic they have been cured of their allergy, it’s a miracle. This gluten free example is just that, an example. Trust me, it happens with all allergies.
So what affect does this have? First of all the kitchen team will have to spend time creating something separate for the allergy sufferer. In our line of work it is not acceptable to simply leave something off a plate and serve the guest half a dish. This will then create extra work load for the chef’s. But it’s their job right? Consider a tiny kitchen like ours with just one chef. He creates this unique menu each month to give the guests a great experience. He would then have to essentially do double the work to create something different for an allergy sufferer. Now don’t get me wrong, no one in our industry would have a problem with that if the allergy is genuine. It’s when the allergy is suddenly cured on the spot that creates problems. If the chef has to do double the work do they get paid double? Does the guest pay double? No. Should they pay double? Definitely not if it’s genuine, maybe they should if it’s a faux allergy. Perhaps we’ve got it all wrong and the chef’s all over the country are simply genius doctors and cure allergies on the spot?
Please don’t think this is me trying to get everyone to feel sorry for us. We’re in the business of creating an amazing experience for our guests and we love doing that. The faux allergy doesn’t just have an effect on the staff. Faux allergies have a knock on effect for all the genuine sufferers out there. They create resentment towards the allergies which means that perhaps you’re not going to get 100% from the chef. I can however 100% guarantee that isn’t the case at Crockers. You may also find that all the other guests suffer due to the extra work load put on the chef.
What’s the answer?
There are an increasing number of restaurants across the country changing their policy on dietary requirements. Many of them are small venues a lot like ourselves with a tiny kitchen and even smaller team. The focus is on creating an amazing experience based around the food and cooking of the head chef. More and more of these venues are now saying they will not cater to every dietary requirement and dislike. The menu is the menu and it won’t change. Is this a bit too strong or is it just restaurants starting to stand up for themselves? Is the main reason guests come to a venue like Crockers not to experience something new, that they can’t experience at home? Perhaps an open mind is all you need?
I would love to hear what everyone thinks about this subject.
Have a great week!
Treat the one you love to something very special this Valentines.
What do you get the one you love this valentines? The usual chocolates and flowers? Or perhaps a little something special?
We will be running a very special menu for Valentines 2018 created by Scott for one week only.
Book your seats and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine on arrival before enjoying our special 5 course menu. Scott is going to create a beautiful tasting menu so you can show just how much that special someone means.
We will be running this one off 5 course menu from Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th for just £65 per person. You can then enjoy a special valentines tasting menu on the 16th & 17th for just £75 per person.
Book your seats now before it’s too late.
So what delights will Scott be creating over the festive period?
It’s with great regret that I have to tell you all that we won’t be serving typical Christmas fare. There will be no dry turkey, wild mushroom pastry parcels and cranberry sauce.
As ever with Crockers we’re doing things a little differently, have a look below to see what Scott has planned.
Snacks – To be eaten with your fingers.
Bread – Tring Brewery beer bread with shipped marmite butter.
Salmon* – Loch Duart salmon, smoked oil, horseradish, dill, beetroot & rye.
Brill – Poached Cornish brill, salsify, mushrooms & cockles.
Pork* – Confit pork belly, black pudding, kale, celeriac & apple.
Premier Cheese – Cheese from Eric Charriaux’s van.
Chocolate* – Chocolate & star anise cremeaux, poached pear, yogurt & hazelnut.
*dishes on the three course menu
© 2017 LHK Catering Ltd