Published on December 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Open arms

The renowned Barrasford Arms is under new ownership and looks set to continue its reputation for championing great local food and ales.

Michael and Victoria Eames took over from long-time landlord Tony Binks in June and are setting their sights on building on the pub’s reputation as a hub of local produce.

They’re also set on building its name as a hotel in fantastic surroundings, within a stone’s throw of the North Tyne’s salmon and trout fishing grounds.

“We couldn’t have picked a better place to take on,” says chef Michael – who grew up in Whitfield, Northumberland and has worked in pubs, small restaurants and hotels across the North East and Scotland.

“We want to be as local as possible – from growing vegetables and herbs in our polytunnels to using my links with the local farmers I grew up with and with the shoots my friends take part in, to working with Northumberland brewers including Allendale, High House Farm at Matfen, and Wylam and gin distilleries like Hepple, Poetic License and Alnwick.”

“We always wanted to build on what Tony Binks created and have added our touches here and there while keeping the traditional elements of the country pub which people like,” adds Victoria – who met Michael while they were both working at The Fisherman’s Lodge in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle.

The bar and rooms have had a makeover, with each one themed around one of the Border Reiver families, and the couple are planning to develop the pub further.

“We’ve got a really friendly pub as well as some great produce on our doorstep – what more could you want?” adds Michael.

“We’re planning to be here for a long time and want to give people a great experience – it’s going to be exciting,” says Victoria. The couple are already three-time winners at the Hospitality and Tourism Awards – Highly Commended in Taste and Boutique Guest Accommodation and a bronze winner in the North East Pub of the Year, as well as being listed in the Michelin Guide and gaining an AA Rosette. The changes have also been brought to the pub’s regular events – with monthly ladies lunches, folk nights with local musicians and more.

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Alastair Gilmour

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