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The Olive Branch in Clipsham submits plans to Rutland County Council for new kitchen after fire



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An award-winning village pub has submitted plans to replace its kitchen which was badly damaged by fire shortly before Christmas last year.

The Olive Branch, in Clipsham, had to close its doors during a peak trading time when fire broke out in an outbuilding in the early hours of December 15, and spread to the neighbouring kitchen.

"We were literally just recovering from the effects of the pandemic and back to some form of normality," explained owner Ben Jones.

The Olive Branch has submitted its plans to Rutland County Council. Image: RTK Stamford
The Olive Branch has submitted its plans to Rutland County Council. Image: RTK Stamford

"The thought of calling people who had booked their Christmas outings here, and the 70 guests we had for Boxing Day and say sorry was - we just had to find a way to serve them."

A temporary kitchen was swiftly put together in a portable building and made workable in time to resume service for a busy Boxing Day.

"It was one of those things that when it happens you just get on with it," Ben said.

"It's only afterwards when you think 'how did we manage that?'."

The Olive Branch was named UK Pub of the Year for the second time last year
The Olive Branch was named UK Pub of the Year for the second time last year

He added: "We thought we would have it just for a couple of months, but things always take longer. We have gradually improved the area to make it more workable.

"It is a little bit more difficult and we had to adapt the menu slightly, but hopefully it hasn't been too noticeable for the customers.

"The team have all done brilliantly well."

Plans were submitted to Rutland County Council last week to replace the kitchen and temporary outbuildings with a permanent structure.

If approved it will include a bigger kitchen, with room for small cookery workshops, and upgrade it from gas to electricity.

It would also house larger preparation and storage areas, and a separate butchery.

"The fire was an opportunity to re-look at the requirements of the kitchen and restructure it," Ben added.

"We are trying to improve an area which has been added on to with various sheds and outbuildings.

"This will make it much tidier and make a better environment for everyone - our neighbours, community and staff."



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