When the lease for The Angel on St Osyth’s Lane came up for sale, David and Wendy Cooke saw it as an opportunity to make a career change and a move from their home in Peterborough. With a background in schools and the education sector, they had not previously worked in the drinks or catering industry. They took over the premises in September and are determined to revive the pub’s weary reputation. In fact, this was one of the reasons why the business was so appealing; they saw it as a challenge. Wendy said: “It is our first venture, but we saw it as an opportunity.”
When they first drew up their plans, food was not one of their considerations. This, however, changed when the owners were approached by Thomas Gazowski, widely known for his delicious German sausages. Unable to continue operating his food concession in the market place, he can now be found serving up sausages and more at The Angel. He has since introduced a wide ranging menu with good home-cooked style food, and the pub is gaining a reputation for its good quality and value.
Longstanding regulars are pleased with the changes; there’s still a corner at the bar reserved for Barry, who’s been coming to the pub for 30 years. Alongside the regulars, The Angel is seeing new customers booking tables and bringing friends for the weekly Tuesday night quiz, and impromptu music sessions.
Food is served from Tuesday to Sunday from 12-3.00pm and 5-9.00pm and there is plenty to choose from, including the Sunday roast, all served in hearty portions. The prices are also very reasonable with nothing over £10. There are plenty of cozy places to sit; with sofas, armchairs and a mix of vintage furnishings, it’s a perfect place to spend an evening with friends.
One of the big hits of the new-look pub is Stan, the resident pooch, rescued from the streets of Bulgaria where he was living rough. It took months of shots and treatments before he was allowed a passport to join the Cookes in October. Now, he’s clean, healthy and luxuriously shaggy; a charming, and extremely popular mascot.
Customers have chalked up good reviews so far, for what must now be the friendliest pub in town. Mark Dee said: “The food is well worth the visit. Enjoy!” William Schmidt added: “Very good people to be around”.
By Sam Trott