Rugby player tackles pub trade in Northumberland

ONE of Northumberland’s best- known pubs has been taken over by former rugby player David Whitehead who wants to turn it into a favourite with food-lovers.

Jolly Fisherman owner David Whitehead

ONE of Northumberland’s best-known pubs has been taken over by former rugby player David Whitehead who wants to turn it into a favourite with food-lovers.

Whitehead has bought the Jolly Fisherman in Craster and recruited two well-respected North East chefs to overhaul its menu to make the most of the local seafood and its popularity with visitors to the spectacular coastline and nearby Dunstanburgh Castle.

“I’ve always been passionate about food and I have got in two of Northumberland’s best chefs to make this place a real destination. It’s always been popular but I don’t think its potential had been tapped into before,” he said.

“We’ve got some spectacular views out to sea and stunning landscapes nearby and fantastic local ingredients like crab and lobster.

“We’re going to keep doing the crab sandwiches and soup which are so popular, but we are going to put together a menu which sees simple ingredients cooked really well. I hope this is going to put this place on the map as somewhere to eat.”

The new chefs are Richard Sim, who worked at the Baltic rooftop restaurant on Gateshead Quay and at the Alnwick Garden restaurant, and John Blackmore, of Blackmore’s in Alnwick.

Whitehead, who is also going to totally refurbish the pub early next year, turned to running his family property business after retiring from professional rugby in 2005.

The former Falcons, Castres Olympiques, Bedford and Cornwall player, also owns Willi’s cafe in Jesmond, Newcastle, and the Shoreline Cafe in Craster, is taking on three more staff to improve service at the Jolly Fisherman.

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