A unique twist on classic British fare is the driving force behind a pub in Windlesham, fresh from a lavish makeover a little over a year ago.
“We’re not interested in chasing rosettes or Michelin stars,” says Scott Coveney, owner of The Brickmakers in Chertsey Road.
“This is our family business, our life, so our main concerns are quality, value and ensuring customers leave with a smile.”
Scott and wife Alex took on the pub in December 2012, which later reopened in January last year following a three-week refit.
Priding itself on sourcing the finest, fresh, and where possible, local British ingredients, there are few British pub classics The Brickmakers’ diverse menu fails to deliver.
The pub’s growing team of chefs and kitchen staff, led by head chef Paul Clarke, work all day, every day to maintain the high standards expected of them.
“Paul’s been with us right from the start,” said Scott. “He’s a local boy, he lives in the village and he’s really driven our focus on ensuring traditional British cuisine gets the recognition it deserves.
“All our recipes are British, all the products we use are sourced from this country – quail’s eggs from Chobham, preserves made in the village and meat from just outside Guildford. This is vital to us.”
The Brickmakers dates back more than 350 years and derives its name from the former Brick Lane brickworks, whose workers would troupe down to the pub for a beer once they had clocked off.
It is this sense of tradition and heritage The Brickmakers takes to heart with its menu boasting steak and kidney pudding, sausages and mash and a ploughman’s platter.
The menu changes around five or six times a year to reflect booms in seasonal produce, to catch some renowned British ingredients like asparagus and cabbage at their best.
Options includes a twice-cooked pork belly, haddock and hand-cut chips, and an array of meat dishes including steak, duck and chicken, as well as vegetarian options.
But it is Paul’s braised West Country half shoulder of lamb, with apricot and port gravy and potato gratin, that is perhaps the pub’s proudest offering, although not the most divisive.
“That would be our black pudding and haggis cake, with malt whisky and tarragon cream,” said Scott. “I think that’s the dish we get the most comments about. It is an acquired taste. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to take that off the menu.”
The Brickmakers’ pride in its place in the community is no more evident than in its dessert menu, where nestled between the apple and blackberry crumble and sticky toffee pudding is the curiously titled ‘Mrs Otter’s Chocolate Brownie’.
“The recipe was given to us by Mrs Otter herself, a staunch Windlesham resident,” said Scott.
“She died just a couple of months ago but her family asked if we could immortalise her and her fantastic recipe on our menu.”
A quick glance further down the desserts reveals another curio – the ‘Eton Tidy’ - which Scott said was just that, an Eton Mess ‘tidied up a little’.
Putting the food to one side, the Brickmakers is also a pub, serving pints of Courage, London Pride and Doom Bar all year round – plus one guest ale on rotation – and the usual array of wines, lagers and spirits.
“Good quality, good service and excellent value is what drives us,” added Scott. “We want customers to leave happy. We are part of the community, we have two young children – we are here to stay.”