New owner of Daventry village pub will strive towards making it a community institution once more

Luke Bavester (pictured left with his sous chef) opened the Sheaf Inn's doors last Saturday

The new head chef and owner of a Daventry village pub says he's aiming to make it a community institution once again after it was shut for more than five years.

The Sheaf Inn in West Haddon has been closed since March 2013 when popular owners Derek and Annie decided to retire.

A quick look through its Tripadvisor reviews attests to the couple and the pub's popularity.

"The unique blend of Derek's front of house and Annie's cooking make for a fantastic evening of fun in a relaxed atmosphere and great food," wrote one reviewer; "the best pub staff, landlord and landlady," said another.

But last Saturday the Sheaf Inn re-opened under new management with 23-year-old Luke Bavester from Rugby stepping in as its chef director.

"It's my first place as the proprietor but I've run a few places before," said Luke, who now lives above the pub.

"It's been really good so far, very positive.

"We've had people saying it's one of the best meals they've had."

Luke is no stranger to the restaurant business having spent time in the kitchen at The Rose Inn in Willoughby, The Red Lion in Kilsby and Fawsley Hall.

He's also fully aware of the pub's success under Derek and Annie and is keen to restore it to the level it reached under its former owners.

"When I first took it on I didn't realise it was such an institution but I think it's something to strive towards," he said.

"Pricewise we definitely want it to be accessible to everyone and not to go above £25 for the lunch menu.

"We really try and make sure its good value and good quality, and that people enjoy what they have."

The Sheaf Inn opened last Saturday and Luke is hoping to attract customers from Daventry's satellite villages and from further afield.

The refurbishment was finished at the end of July with the pub's freeholder deciding on the interior and Luke making the call on everything from the furniture, the cutlery and crookery and of course all things food and drink.

All the produce is bought within a 30-mile radius except for the fish.

"We want to support local fare by using local farmers," said Luke.

"Even things like the logs for the fire are bought down the road.

"Things like that are really important to me and it reduces our carbon footprint.

"The kitchen is done in an efficient way too."

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