What is the link between selling stamps in the remote Scottish Highlands to pulling pints in a Dorset village? It’s all about the local community, says Marcel Gommers, the new landlord at the Royal Oak in Drimpton
The former village sub-postmaster in Cromarty and his wife Kitty are the new friendly faces behind the bar. The Dutch-born couple came to the UK 15 years ago and have since worked in a wide variety of jobs.
Since leaving Scotland they have explored the UK in a motorhome and were based in Buckinghamshire and Warwick where Marcel got the taste for life as mine host.
“We wanted a small pub, which the two of us could run,” says Marcel. “We searched for months from the north-east of England to the south cost and at last found ourselves in West Dorset.”
Kitty said: “The village is lovely. The locals are really friendly and helpful and it has very much the same feel as in Cromarty. The village pub, like the village post office, is the hub of the community.”
Marcel added: “I believe a pub belongs to the community and we are renting it for a while!”
The Gommers are freshening the pub, beer garden and skittle alley. The kitchen is Kitty’s domain and a light lunch menu is on offer, with a traditional Sunday lunch and a choice of evening meals from Tuesday to Saturday as well as coffee, tea and cakes.
The Royal Oak is one of a handful Palmers’ pubs in and near Beaminster that have new landlords. Chris Davies and Alex Barrow have taken over at The Greyhound and Richard Reano at The White Lion, Broadwindsor. The Brewery is looking for new tenants at the Red Lion in Beaminster and has confirmed plans for a major refurbishment of the pub this autumn.
“The Red Lion has great potential,” said Tenanted Trade Director Jayson Perfect. “It’s a sizeable building with a strong local following. The pub would suit an experienced couple ready to continue to build the business.”