Today's Pub of the Week is the Royal Oak in The Street, Poringland.
PUBLISHED: 09:28 01 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:28 01 April 2013
Landlady Delia Perry has worked hard to build up a loyal customer base, and her pub now offers something for virtually everyone. While I chatted to her, one regular walked by carrying a carton of eggs - they sell a local farmer's eggs.
She’s the Avon representative and sells beauty products from the pub.
And if you get peckish you can buy chocolate peanuts, mint imperials, Bombay mix, and mini jelly babies from behind the counter. Mrs Perry said the jelly babies are so popular she shifts 2.5 kilos a week.
And while I’m getting my head round the idea of ordering a pint and a bag of jelly beans, she hits me with a list of other things the pub does including live music, darts, fashion and whisky nights, poker, and quizzes.
And because she caters to everyone, it was not surprising that, while it have may have just after 4pm on a Tuesday, the place was teeming with people.
She was the only one serving behind the bar, as her husband was out, so she had to keep interrupting her chat to me to serve another thirsty customer.
The regulars kept telling me to ‘Sit down with Delia’, which I mentioned could have been a good title for a cooking show, but she kept standing up to walk away.
Anyway, I pretty much got the picture of why this pub’s so successful by watching the regulars chatting away and enjoying themselves. This must be one of the busiest Pub of The Weeks I’ve ever done during the daytime.
Delia and husband Nick have run the pub for 14 years, and bought it from her parents Sylvia and Barry Haslett, who ran it before.
“We’re the longest-serving landlords - the previous best was 12 years,” she said. “But when we first came here we never thought we would stay that long. I think the reason we have is that we have just got it right. I fell in love with the people and the village. This pub has atmosphere, and we’re now going from strength to strength. I work really hard to do a lot of different events for a lot of different people.”
She’s ex-army - a warrant officer in the nursing corps, while her hubby is ex-navy - a chief caterer.
“When we came here we planned to do food, but instead we now have an extended range of beers. We have up to 12 on throughout the week. If people want food, there’s a chippy next door, and we let their customers eat their meals here.” The pub’s thrice-yearly beer festival starts today with 30 brews on offer.
The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal