As we settle into our second winter here at The Red Lion, we’re looking forward to exciting community events including the Christmas Extravaganza and Bands in the Bury. We are also pleased to announce the arrival of our new Pub Manager, Emily. Having been a strong leader in her role as Deputy Manager at our sister pub, The Stag on the River in Eashing, Emily is thrilled to have secured the new post as General Manager and has already made her mark in the pub.
We caught up with her over some of Head Chef Simon’s delicious home-made cakes and a pot of steaming hot Birchall tea to ask her a few questions:
What was your ‘dream job’ when you were growing up, and why?
I loved reading and writing and so went on, after college, to complete a degree in journalism; but decided that I don’t have the hard-skin needed to succeed in the world of writing and journalistic reporting… I do still enjoy creative writing now and again though to keep my skills sharp.
What’s your background and why did you choose the pub industry to work in?
I grew up in Liphook and studied journalism at university. I kind of fell into this career, which started out as a stop-gap! It was perfect at the time, as I was needing part-time work whilst studying and, having lived and breathed the food industry for as long as I can remember (we have a family restaurant business), it’s the only industry I have ever really known and loved. I truly love the opportunity I get in meeting so many varied people, including celebrities, at our pubs. I love the challenge too of being able to turn ‘arriving frowns’ upside down into smiles as they leave having wowed them with our food and service. Working in this industry is definitely a part of me and excelling in customer expectations is something I feel passionate about.
What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
Without this sounding cheesy, for me it is definitely becoming General Manager of The Red Lion… from a waitress 5 years ago to now running my own pub, it’s been hard work and a truly interesting learning curve. The skill set we need as pub managers is vast, not only needing to read customers body language and turning unfortunate situations around, but managing the business to ensure we are hitting the correct margins and profit, and maintaining a top-notch team (and keeping them motivated) – it certainly keeps me busy!
What are you most excited for in your role at The Red Lion?
Having previously worked at The Stag in Eashing, I am excited to be learning the ropes of a new pub and finding ways to further improve our offering. I am excited to be working closely with InOdiham, the business voice of the village, and the local church to ensure that, as a business, we can support the local events and fundraising efforts, which really is the backbone of what makes the warmth and community spirit in this village so incredibly special.
What’s your favourite thing about the great British pub scene?
There is something incredibly special about a great pub – the food and drink are of course hugely important (when there are so many to choose from) but also I love how the pub is where we, the British, go to experience every emotion… a date night, celebrating a family occasion, enjoying time out after a long day or even drowning your sorrows, there’s always a friendly face and listening ear awaiting you!
What is your favourite classic pub dish, and why?
Definitely a pie, without a doubt this is the ultimate comfort food! I am such a sucker for a delicious home-made pie with lashings of filling and thick, rich gravy to dip my chips into…mmmmmmm!
If you could invite anyone in the world to come for dinner, who would you invite and why?
I’d probably ask Mary Berry over for dinner and then ask her why my caramel doesn’t set properly in her millionaire shortbread recipe… I follow it to a tee and just can’t seem to get it right!!
What’s your signature drink that your nearest and dearest know to order for you?
After a long day it’s a pint of Hogstar, date night it’s red wine and with the girls, it’s always prosecco!
What is your favourite dish on The Red Lion Autumn Menu?
There are so many delicious dishes on the menu this autumn, including some delicious vegetarian and vegan options. However, I’m going to pick the steak and St. Peter’s dark ale pie (as per my above answer, I adore pies and this one is divine!), but, being greedy, I would also like to pick the roast beef from our Sunday menu, it’s just not a Sunday without a roast.
What is your favourite movie of all time?
Anything that starts with ‘based on a true story’ is usually a winner with me. Or a musical!
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of work?
I absolutely love cooking and baking. On my days off I like making something I haven’t made before and will gladly spend all day making a two-course meal, my other half is one lucky guy!!
Tell us a random fact about yourself that not many people know…
I don’t really reveal this, for obvious reasons, but I’m a die-hard Eastenders fan, I have never missed an episode…. think I should be proud of that no???!
Make sure you introduce yourself to Emily the next time you pop by… She’s very much looking forward to meeting you all and if any of you know any top tips for a successful millionaire shortbread, she’s all ears!
For those wanting to try our delicious and new seasonal menu, don’t forget you can book online up to 45 minutes prior to your preferred seating time (subject to availability).