Husband-and-wife team Jake and Cassie White have left their jobs at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley in London to open their first venture – a pub with rooms in Cumbria.
The pair, who worked for Wareing as head chef and pastry chef respectively, have taken on the Pentonbridge Inn in the Cumbrian hamlet of Penton.
As well as working under Wareing, Cassie also spent time at Hélène Darroze’s eponymous two Michelin starred restaurant at The Connaught and prior to that they both worked for Tom Aikens, as well as a variety of establishments in England and Australia. Pentonbridge Inn is their first joint venture where they will both head up the kitchen.
Jake said the couple had enjoyed working in the ‘heart of London’s culinary scene’ but were now ready to take up a new opportunity to ‘create something truly special’.
“For me this is a return to my native north of England and the chance to add something unique to an internationally renowned food destination,” he said. “Pentonbridge Inn will be a real showcase of the passion we feel for the food of the area and something we’re sure will be enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike.”
The 45-cover main dining room with pub area, conservatory and nine guest bedrooms, will open in September following an extensive refurbishment of the building, previously known as The Bridge Inn.
Guests visiting the dining room will be able to choose from a five or seven course tasting menu, with canapés, priced at £50 and £70 respectively while a £28 four-course set menu will be served on Sundays with the option of pre-ordering a specific cut of meat, such as a wing of beef. Dishes will be served as well as cooked by the chefs for a more interactive experience.
Pub classics and snacks and sharing plates will be served in the dog-friendly bar area at lunch and dinner.
The Whites, who worked at plan to source the majority of fruit, vegetable and herbs from a Victorian walled garden and greenhouses at nearby Netherby Hall, which they have been cultivating, alongside the head gardener.
Local game will be well represented on the menu when in season and meat will be sourced from Lake District Farmers and Millbank Venison, with fish coming from the Solway Firth and suppliers such as Celtic Seafare.
The nine bedrooms are split between the main building and the adjacent converted barn, where rooms are kitted out in velvet, tweed and wool interiors, roll-top baths, DAB radios, Egyptian cotton sheets, fresh coffee, fresh flowers and fluffy towels.
The refurbishment and relaunch of the property will be overseen by Charles Oak of The Quercus Partnership, who is helping owners Gerald and Margo Smith – also owners of Netherby Hall – realise their dream of creating somewhere great to eat near their home.