New era for Redbourn pub

Graeme and Gordon Dickens outside The Holly Bush, Redbourn

Graeme and Gordon Dickens outside The Holly Bush, Redbourn - Credit: Archant

A father-son duo will be restoring the Victorian schoolhouse in the grounds of a Redbourn pub after taking over yesterday.

Gordon Dickens will be refurbishing the schoolhouse of The Holly Bush, owned by Brakspear, as a centre for individually tailored tutoring sessions delivered by Tutor Doctor, the tuition service that Gordon has been running for several years.

Son Graeme has worked as a teacher and tutor, but also has extensive hospitality experience, having worked in pubs in both Bedford and Hemel Hempstead.

Keeping the new business a family affair, the Church End pub’s new sous chef is Jess, partner to another of Gordon’s sons, Steven.

Gordon explains: “The pub was built in the grounds of St Mary’s Church sometime in the 18th century, and the schoolhouse was added at least 100 years later. It would have taken up to 30 children, all ages together in one room.

“We think it’s fitting that we’re restoring the link between the two buildings, and offering two key services to the local community.”

“Graeme is really looking forward to running The Holly Bush and together, we will build a new family business that combines our skills in hospitality and education.”

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Interior renovations in the School Room will begin immediately, in time for the start of the new academic year in September. It will be used for one-to-one and small group tuition, as well as for social events.

The Dickens family reopened The Holly Bush yesterday and it will continue as a traditional pub, offering local people a selection of Brakspear ales and pub food.

There will be a new children’s menu, the beer garden will become more family-friendly and the pub’s wine selection will also be expanded.