Restaurant of the Month: The Ship Inn
A traditional British pub based in the historical village of Wylam, Northumberland. Birthplace of George Stephenson and the railways, it also sits on Hadrians wall and just 8 miles from Newcastle on the River Tyne which attracts many visitors each year.
Paul and Kelly took over the struggling drinks only pub in July 2017. The couple were moving back to their roots in the North East having lived in Cornwall for the previous 3 years.
The pub has now been transformed into a modern gastropub with the emphasis on cooking traditional pub food but elevated with the best locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and cooked simply, with care and expertise.
With around 50 covers, as well as a garden the couple are also working on “The Shed” a new private dining venture in one of their outbuildings.
Love British Food chatted with Paul to find out more about the pub and their food.
Why do you do what you do?
We are both passionate about great food and drink. We feel that the majority of pubs now have gone down a road of serving poor quality, frozen, bought
in food. We are trying to revive the great British local pub. Being a pub is not an excuse for bad food and service. The restaurant scene in this country
is thriving and we feel the pubs have a bit of catching up to do. A village pub should be serving high quality, local and seasonal fayre. That is what
we believe in. We just run our pub to be a pub that we would like to go in.
I love the seasons and the changes. There's nothing better than when winter ends and you see the wild garlic popping up, or the first asparagus spears
of the season come into the kitchen. Then strawberries, Yorkshire rhubarb. It's just the best thing to get all of these wonderful ingredients when
they are at their best and imagine what you can create.
What do you enjoy the least about your job?
Running the business side of things is not my strong point and we have both had to learn as we go. I much prefer being in the kitchen and cooking. But,
now when running a business there is so many other things to focus on.
I am most proud of us getting to where we are today. It has been such a big transformation in the last two years. For me it’s not about accolades and awards
really, although they are nice to have and motivating for the whole team. For me the best part is seeing familiar faces coming through the door, time
and time again. That is the greatest achievement.
Do you use British Produce?
We are totally committed to British produce. Not only British we choose local too. The majority of our ingredients are sourced within 40 miles of the pub.
We are very lucky in Northumberland to have such great produce on our doorstep.
What do you think is best about using British produce?
I think as a country we need to be a bit more un-British. We should be proud of our produce and be shouting about it. We have amazing meat and seafood, the best rhubarb, Asparagus, Strawberries, raspberries and cheeses. We should celebrate what we have here and even more so for the hard working, dedicated people out there that produce it.
Why should people buy British?
We do have some of the greatest produce in the world. I think if people shopped more locally and more seasonally they would see the benefits. Better tasting
produce for one, but also it is more cost effective and environmentally friendly, not shipping food all around the world. Dare I mention the “B” word,
but with the effects of that, we need to focus more on our own produce and support the local independent producers.
I think it is good to have that connection with where our food comes from. We are then more likely to respect our surroundings, animal welfare standards, wildlife protection and support the British farming industry.
What is your most popular dish?
Haggis Scotch Egg with homemade "broon sauce" - a great pub dish!
The Ship Inn
Tel: 01661 854538