New landlords begin serving at historic pub

It’s been a frustrating time for the new landlords of an historic Melton pub but they were finally allowed to open their doors to customers on Monday as lockdown restrictions were eased across the nation.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 5:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 5:40 pm
Simon Gilchrist, who has taken over the Anne of Cleves pub in Melton with Gary O'Connor EMN-210414-123758001

The Anne of Cleves, which has Royal connections and dates back to the 14th century, has had a real buzz this week.

Tables have filled up in the garden of the Burton Street venue with hospitality businesses now permitted to serve drinks and food in outdoor areas from Monday.

Simon Gilchrist and Gary O’Connor took over the pub at a time when the world was in the tight grip of the coronavirus pandemic.

They’ve carried out lots of refurbishments in the building, which was once gifted by King Henry VIII to one of his wives, Anne of Cleves.

There is also a new menu with the new landlords eager to build on its reputation for serving quality food.

Taking a break on a busy first Tuesday, Simon told the Melton Times: “We’ve not been able to open until this week.

“It’s been frustrating but the restrictions have given us time to get all the refurbishments done and put a lick of paint around the place.

“There has already been a lot of positivity from our customers and they seem very pleased that the pub has reopened again this week.

“We’ve certainly been very busy today and it is great to be able to open once again.”

The building, which dates back to 1384, has a large bar area with many original features, including the flagstone floor and mullioned windows.

It started out a house for 14 chantry priests who ministered to the lepers at the hospital set up by Roger de Mowbray in Burton Lazars.

In 1539 the property fell into the hands of the crown, which is when the King subsequently passed it on to Anne as a special present.

It did not become a pub until some time in the 1900s, after a brief use as a tea room, and the building underwent a full refurbishment in 1996.

Simon added: “The history of the place was important, of course, but we were also attracted by it being in Melton.

“A busy market town is 
always a good location for a pub.”