The Horse & Groom

Hare Hatch

About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...

History

Here is a little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth a read.

The 'Hare-hatch' was one of the old gates into Windsor Forest, presumably where hares were often seen. This part of the forest was an area sacred to the Saxon people and called the 'Frith', although Maidenhead Thicket is the only remaining woodland portion remaining. The hamlet of Hare Hatch emerged on the edge of this forestland, apparently as summer pasture for local livestock, as indicated by the names of Deane Farm and the Deane fields.

Though farming always remained the main industry in Hare Hatch, the building of the great road to Bath, which ran through the hamlet, gave it a huge boost as a stopping off place for travellers to and from London and the West Country, and for nobility and their retinues travelling to and from Windsor Castle. In the early 1700's, Bath Road would have been a major motorway of its day.

In those days coaches had little illumination and could not travel at night, so travellers would have need of an inn to eat, drink and sleep and to rest their horses, and the Horse and Groom was constructed around this time to cater for the needs of travellers. The very name itself, of course, would have indicated to travellers that their horses could be fed and watered at the inn.

At that time, the whole process of travel was fraught with danger, with highwaymen running rife through the countryside, there being no effective police force. The Maidenhead Thicket was renowned as being particularly dangerous, and travellers seldom crossed the thicket after dusk for fear for their personal safety and possessions, which was good news for the landlord of the Horse and Groom.

Mail coaches were also particularly vulnerable as they were used to transport money: so frequent were robberies of mail coaches, that at one point customers were advised to cut their banknotes in two, and send each half at different times with different coaches.

One of the ruses employed by highwaymen would be to pretend to be travellers themselves and frequent the inns, where they would pick up snippets of information about which coach was travelling where, and whether its occupants were likely to provide rich pickings on the following day. The Horse and Groom would undoubtedly have been used in this manner.

On a more recent note, we have made contact with Hereward Harrison, whose family had the pub for generations, from 1924 to 1970. He has furnished us with many of the old photographs in the pub for which we are most grateful. The family still have in their possession Olympic medals from 1908, won by Cecil Mckaig, who was the landlord at the Horse and Groom from 1924 to 1939.

The Horse and Groom has been serving food and ale for some 300 years now with an extraordinarily rich history, and with the recent renovations, it's set fair for many more years to come.

If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...


Front of house

John Thirlway

Manager

John joined B and P about a year ago and did a few weeks of initial training here with us at The Horse and Groom. Almost a year to the day he’s taken the reins of the pub (horse pun fully intended) and joins us as our new boss! John has years of experience in hospitality, managing bars and restaurants such as the Botanist and Strada. John lived in Singapore for 20 years and has many tales to tell and skills to show off whether they be stories of meeting famous celebrities or crazy bar tending tricks. When he’s not hard at work you can find him relaxing with his wife and daughter.

Harriet Barford

Deputy Manager

Hattie joined us last year as our Deputy Manager and we can certainly say she knows her stuff! Hattie has worked in hospitality for years managing pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. When she's not at work Hattie enjoys going to the gym or getting a drink with her friends.

Jonathon Abraham

Assistant Manager

Jonny started with us three years ago as a waiter and is now our Assistant Manager. When he's not at work you can find him playing football with his mates or down the pub having a pint of Guinness or a nice G&T.

Patricia Logan

Bar/Waiting Staff

Lady Pat is the mum of the Horse & Groom and takes the time to get to know all of her customers. In her spare time she enjoys a drink the other side of the bar and is a keen golfer!

Callum O\'Donnell

Bar/Waiting Staff

Callum has been with us a few months now and you can find him behind our bar in the evenings when he is back from university. In his spare time he is a keen rugby player and likes to have a drink or two with his mates.

Charlotte Hill

Bar/Waiting Staff

Charlie works with us part time whilst studying geography at Leeds University. In her spare time she enjoys dance classes and going to the gym.

Hayley Absolom

Bar/Waiting Staff

Hayley is our workaholic as she splits her time between studying English Literature at Winchester university, working here at the Horse and Groom or working at the garden centre next door! Despite her extremely busy life she is always puts in 100% and is a valuable member of the team.

Sophie Pritchard-Gordon

Bar/Waiting Staff

Sophie (or PG as we know her) has worked here on and off for years now. She left to put her hospitality skills to good use at another pub but her love for the Horse and Groom was too strong and she returned with a wealth of knowledge. PG is a keen learner and can either be found studying to pass a very detailed wine course or sampling the products we stock on the other side of the bar! We know which we'd prefer to spend an evening doing!


Kitchen

Mark Jones

Head Chef

Mr Jones, or Jonesy, has worked his way up & up with B&P to become our new Head chef! With an eye for detail and wicked sense of humour Mr Jones provides light relief in the kitchen along with fantastic food. Jonesy is, on first impressions, moody and scary but give him a pint of coca-cola and he is the cuddliest teddy bear you will ever find! Jonesy and partner, Cat, have got a little girl called Bella, she is absolutely gorgeous and feels incredibly at home with us.

Matthew York

Sous Chef

Matt is our new sous chef and is Jonesy’s right-hand man. Born in Cornwall Matt has travelled up and down the country gaining a wealth of experience working in many hotel kitchens such as Crowne Plaza and Hilton. Matt and Jonesy have previously worked together at the Rowbarge (one of our sister pubs) and they make a great team. Matt has a passion for creating new vegan and vegetarian dishes and you’ll be sure to see them appearing on our menus in 2020!

Cat

Senior Chef de Partie

Cat is our Queen in the kitchen, having recently joined us from one of our sister pubs The Gomshall Mill. She is making her name known in the company, and is pushing the kitchen to a higher level, putting her heart and soul into the menus. Cat chose her career path from an early age, working in various areas of hospitality from restaurants to private catering. Most of Cat's influences stem from her family who live far and wide, from Canada to Australia and Thailand, and this is reflected in the style of her cuisine.

Simon Sayer

Chef de Partie

Little Si is the busy-body of the kitchen and nothing is ever too much hassle for him. On the weekends he spends quality time with his daughter Abigail who is 5 years old - or "nearly 6" as she keeps reminding him.

Patryk Chabasiewicz

Chef de Partie

Pat has been working here at the Horse and Groom for 4 years now. Pat has completed a Level 2 apprenticeship in Catering with us and has also experienced company events such as the junior chef competition where he created and cooked a dish for the executive chefs of Brunning and Price in the semi finals of the competition.

Michael Soutter

Kitchen Porter

Mike has been our Kitchen Porter at the pub for many years. He is always very efficient and is not scared of hard work! He loves getting stuck in whether it's washing pots and pans, preparing food or making deserts.

Edward Thompson

Kitchen Porter

It's not just front of house we've got brother/sister duos working together! Ed is one half of the Thompson brothers that work in our kitchen. Ed is always chilled out and gives the kitchen a calming atmosphere! On his days off you can find him scoring all the goals on the football pitch.


Maintenance

John Barnby

Gardener/Handyperson

John is our 'go to guy' for pretty much anything. If it needs mending, painting, tidying, pruning - he will have done it!

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