Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Restaurateur to take over The Station House

THE Station House in Henley will re-open next month.

THE Station House in Henley will re-open next month.

The Brakspear pub has been closed since February when the last landlord left suddenly, citing “personal reasons”.

Now the company has signed a deal with restaurateur Darren Gillett to take over as tenant of the Market Place pub.

Mr Gillett, who will be working alongside head chef Marianne Wit, has worked at a of London venues, including the Gaucho Grill, Rainforest Café and Conran Restaurants as well as at the Bell Inn in Charlbury.

Ms Wit has had worked at restaurants including La Trompette in Chiswick and the Glass House in Kew, which are both Michelin-starred.

Mr Gillett said: “Marianne and I have worked together before and decided we wanted to run our own eatery outside London.

“When we viewed the Station House we knew it would be perfect for Marianne’s style of food and the informal dining atmosphere we wanted to create.”

Ms Wit has spent months designing and perfecting the menu based on “small plates”.

“Dishes have all been given an individual, quirky touch by Marianne,” said Mr Gillett. “Meat and fish plates include twice cooked pork belly, fried chicken with a sweetcorn dip and salt cod fishcakes with saffron mayonnaise, while vegetarian options include leek vinaigrette with chopped egg and chives and roasted spiced cauliflower with Oxford Blue or ‘secret’ mash.

“All small plates can be upsized to main course size and the menu will also offer some pub favourites, such as fish and chips, sausage and mash and burgers, as well as a changing specials board.

“Marianne and I are excited about starting our new business in Henley, where there’s a vibrant eating and drinking scene, which creates a great opportunity for us.

“There’s nothing quite like Marianne’s style of cooking on offer in the town so we’re confident that we will attract a following from diners looking for top quality food at good value prices, served in a warm, relaxed environment.

“We’re looking forward to opening our doors next month and getting to know Henley’s dining customers.

“As with any new independent business, we have plans but are flexible, so we will be open to feedback and suggestions to help us develop the Station House.”

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “Darren and Marianne are both hugely talented and experienced and we’re confident they will quickly turn the pub into one of Henley’s favourite drinking and dining spots.”

The pub closed unexpectedly when landlord Christian Evans terminated his tenancy.

At the time, he wrote on Facebook: “It was a very tough decision to give the keys back in a very professional manner to Brakspear, who were fine to work alongside.

“I am sorry to all in Henley that enjoyed our place but personal matters meant that I could no longer continue. I hope and wish the new tenant all the best. I’m sure it will re-open soon.”

In January the pub received a critical report from a health inspector who discovered mouldy food and chopping boards at the premises.

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