Welcome to the 10th edition of the new CHEQS Magazine! Your community magazine – supported by representatives of the five village communities, Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop, Quenington, Eastleach and Southrop.
I was brought up in Down Ampney and then we moved to Poulton, where my mum still lives. Michelle is from Cirencester, and we’ve run The Keepers Arms in Quenington since 2007. It’s a very different place to the one we walked into 13 years ago, and we’re very proud of what has been achieved. The pub has four en-suite letting rooms, which are usually full from May through to October. In 2015 we took part in the Channel 4 programme Four in a Bed, and were delighted to be announced as the winners! The pub itself is a thriving drink and dine pub. We’re fortunate to own
the freehold, so we can source the beers and wines from wherever we like – we’re careful to choose a good variety from a range of local and national producers.
When lockdown began it was a scary time: it was very difficult to lock the door and walk away from a business we’d worked so hard to establish. But we were determined to use the time constructively, and we (Michelle) decorated from top to bottom, we deep cleaned and we waited… while attempting to home school two boys aged 15 and 12. We started a takeaway service, which was well supported, but we didn’t feel it was safe to continue once the seriousness of the virus became clear.
We reopened the bar on July 4th, followed by the kitchen on 24th. Just about all of our sittings have been fully booked since then, which has been incredibly encouraging. The rule now is a maximum table size of six people. To eat, you need to book online www.thekeepersarms.co.uk – our kitchen is open on Fridays 5.30 – 8.30pm, Saturdays 5.30 – 8.30pm and on Sundays 12-2.30pm.
We’re determined to keep the pub safe, and, while you can pop in for a pint, you’ll now need to sit down and have table service. As the pub is small, we feel we can keep it safe, and we won’t let it get too busy!
Thank you to everyone who is continuing to support us. We’re lucky to have so many great pubs locally: your support for us all is much appreciated – cheers!
Margaret Stranks – Editor