He might have only been landlord there for a few months but former customer Stuart Nicholson is already making waves at this classic country pub that’s got a great new lease of life
So tell us Stuart, how long have you been running the Blue Anchor?
I took it over last November so it’s not even been a year yet!
What do you enjoy most about running the pub?
I would say probably the people. We have all sorts of characters coming in and plenty of locals with interesting lives and stories to tell.
Do you have any other businesses? If so, what are they?
Yes I do. I run my own mobile mechanic business so I’m always on the go.
Have you always been in the hospitality industry?
No, this is a first for me so it’s very much a learning curve.
What attracted you to it in the first place?
The Blue Anchor was my local for many years. It’s like that old Victor Kiam Remington advert where he says: “I loved it so much I bought the company!”
There’s a lot of competition with country pubs in this area so what is your unique selling point?
At The Blue Anchor we pride ourselves on serving quality food. There is a very large garden that’s covered by a free and open WIFI network . We regularly hold parties and barbeques.
How important is sourcing locally produced and seasonal food to you?
It’s vitally important to us: It’s part of the pub’s ethos to source and support regional produce and suppliers.
Can you name some of them?
We use C.L Leppard Butchers in Mayfield and Penshurst Fine Foods for various goods. We also buy our pork from Lynne’s Organic farm in Eridge.
Are your customers mainly from Crowborough or do you have people coming from all over the area?
It varies to be honest. We have our very loyal locals but we also get a lot of passing trade for lunch and dinner thanks to being located on the A26.
Do you try to keep up with foodie trends or does your chef prefer to cook the classics?
Our head chef Chris likes to experiment with a mixture of things. He’ll do tradtional dishes but also introduce a gourmet twist here and there.
What is your most popular dish on the menu and why?
We’re famous for our fish and chips but our customers like the fact our menu changes frequently so we don’t really have a signature dish.
What is the most important consideration for you when running a business?
I would have to say that it is our customers. We want them to enjoy the whole experience of dining here at The Blue Anchor.
If you could sum up the appeal of your pub in three words what would they be?
Friendly, warm and inviting.
Beacon Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 1BB 01892 654519