Simon Rogan of L'Enclume fame takes over his local pub, Pig and Whistle, Cartmel
Not content with creating the north west's first two star Michelin restaurant, Simon Rogan is now taking over a pub on his Lakeland doorstep. Emma Mayoh reports
You might think Simon Rogan has enough on his plate. The two Michelin-starred chef already has the celebrated L’enclume and Rogan & Co restaurants in Cartmel as well as two year pop-up restaurant Roganic in London. He also won the dessert course on BBC2’s Great British Menu earlier this year, scored a perfect ten from The Good Food Guide and his food has won plaudits from an army of critics for its experimental flavours and signature dishes. Rumour has it he will soon open in Manchester.
But the 44-year-old, who also holds five AA rosettes, has thoughts closer to home. He has just taken on his village pub, the Pig and Whistle, in Cartmel and he is simply determined to put the personality back into this pub.
Simon, who trained with Marco Pierre White, said: ‘Having 30 years experience and two other hospitality businesses within the village means we have a good hold on things. We are aware of the trends, peaks and troughs that come within this industry and especially within this area.
‘We also know the locals and we have socialised with them at length during our time here in Cartmel. They want a presence and a personality in their pubs and this is exactly what we will give them.’
The Robinsons Brewery owned pub, which serves cask ales and has gardens that overlook the Cartmel Valley, has been Simon’s local since he and partner Penny Tapsell moved to Cartmel ten years ago. He plans to restore the Pig and Whistle to its former glory, turning it back into a traditional local for villagers while still keeping the tourists happy.
He said: ‘It’s one of four pubs in the village. It has lots of charm, it’s small and quaint and when it came up for grabs we felt we had to have it. And best of all, it’s just a stone’s throw away from our own front door.
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We’ve given the ground floor a new lick of paint, new carpets, new curtains and furniture, a new bar area, just a little statement to say we are here. Once we have a firm handle on things, we will look at how we can make improvements to the layout and flow – starting with a brand new conservatory overlooking those beautiful gardens next spring.’
The original menus and dishes he has become known for will also be served up at the Pig and Whistle. The food will be created using organic produce he harvests on a nearby farm and there will be a strong local theme.
Simon, who also runs experimental kitchen Aulis, said: ‘We aim to keep it simple - local and traditional. It will be home-cooked, gutsy food with Cumbrian flair and artisan ales.
‘We will continue to stick to our principles and beliefs which are to use and promote local suppliers and of course utilising some of the ingredients from our own farm here in the village.’