Advertising Feature: If you’re looking for the quintessential English country pub, with great food and friendly owners, then head for Sedlescombe and The Queens Head, as Helen Stockton discovered on a recent lunchtime visit
The Queens Head in Sedlescombe is about as quintessential an English pub as it is possible to be. Set in the heart of the village, its been open to locals and visitors since the 1450s. Which makes the present proprietors, James and Gilly Wheatley, relative newcomers, with nine years behind the bar.
James previously worked in London and Gilly had a lingerie shop in Rye. After James was made redundant, they decided a country pub offered the way forward. When they took over the Queens Head, they were keen to respect its history, but wanted to give it a fresh, new look. With its exposed beams, open fireplaces and garden it really is a charming venue for a casual lunch or a special meal.
“When we took over the pub, we wanted to focus on offering really good quality food. We source as much of it locally as we can and employ great chefs so that people really enjoy eating with us,” said James. And our experience certainly suggested that they have got things right.
Our main courses covered the spectrum of dietary preferences. The locally sourced sausages were browned to perfection, with smooth, creamy mash nestling on a bed of broccoli and crispy onion and endorsed as, “one of the best I’ve ever had,” by my dining companion. My pappardelle in mushroom sauce was infused with a wild garlic and almond pesto that made the vegetarian option a tasty choice. Dessert was a rhubarb tart, pleasantly sharp and complimented by a refreshing lemon sorbet, whilst the strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake with strawberry ice-cream was as indulgent as it sounds. Delicious!
Chatting to James and Gilly, it was clear they value the pub as a community hub. Also, rather uniquely Gilly has moved her lingerie shop, Siren and Pearl, to a tastefully styled upstairs room. The boutique offers customers the opportunity for private 1-2-1 fittings in a comfortable, discreet atmosphere. Gilly has over 10 years experience in fitting lingerie and understands the importance of getting the foundations right. “Ladies sometimes come to me with their outfits for a special occasion,” she explained. “We can work out the best style and fit to ensure everything looks and feels fantastic on the day.” There are very few places that offer this level of service and it is something that Gilly is justifiably proud of.
Customers will find a splendid array of lingerie styles on offer, all chosen for fantastic quality and design. Whether it’s something for everyday comfort and style, post-surgery or even ‘saucepot splendour’, she can make special orders and source individual items for customers. Gilly is passionate about offering customers an exclusive, bespoke experience and customers can call in, by appointment, to enjoy the unique situation and beautiful products that Gilly offers.
“We often find that customers who come for a fitting, stay for a coffee or lunch. It really is the complete experience,” laughed Gilly. And complete experience just about sums up this charming pub with an extra special offering. It has a distinctive ambiance, great food and friendly proprietors; what more could you want!
The Queens Head with Siren & Pearl Lingerie
Address: The Green, Sedlescombe TN33 0QA
Telephone: The Queens Head 01424 870228
Telephone: Siren & Pearl Lingerie 07851 791034