The Wheatsheaf pub in Willingdon is open from April 12 – and wow it’s going to be THE place to go for food and drink this year.

Landlady Karen Clapton has invested massively into the pub on Church Street and she’s delighted with the outcome.

Now Karen and her warm, friendly team can’t wait to reopen their doors.

Karen, who has been Landlady since February 2019, said: “The Wheatsheaf is now looking absolutely fabulous, and we are so pleased to be able to welcome our valued customers back.

“And they will see a huge difference when they return to us. We have made a vast investment in what we offer and now we want to show off our very best.”

During Lockdown one, Karen ran a Community shop from the pub, mainly consisting of food parcels. They had around 200 regular customers.

She also saw that time as an opportunity to improve The Wheatsheaf – and improve is a total understatement.

A brand-new kitchen was built, new toilets, a revamp of the garden area, new electrics, new plumbing and making sure it was 100 per cent fire compliant.

Karen decided she wanted to make The Wheatsheaf ‘The hub of the village, a welcoming pub with everything you would expect; friendly atmosphere, fantastic food menu with wines, spirits and ales to match’.

During Lockdown two, the outside Barn was converted into an amazing dining area for up to 25 people. It’s a beautiful area to dine in.

Plus, more investment was made into expanding the outside area, and a covered shelter beautifully designed with heating.

Since Christmas there has been even more work on the outside area, including new lighting and a fully decked area, and all the floors inside have been re-varnished.

Fresh fruit and herbs are also now grown in the garden, which will be used by the chefs.

The Wheatsheaf can now safely accommodate 120 people outside from April 12, and Karen is so excited.

She said: “We have a new Head Chef and Second chef and we are offering an all-day food menu in our outside garden and terrace from noon until 9pm Sunday to Thursday and noon until 10pm for Friday and Saturday.

“The customer service will be second to none.

“Soon we will also have an outdoor oven cooking pizza and paella, and we will also be offering cocktails and mocktails.

“We have a lovely waitress team, and I could not be prouder of them.”

Karen is also relaunching her new coffee shop in April from the pub. There is a separate area to the building for this.

Karen said: “We have a new Barista and we want to open the coffee shop for our locals and also the walkers around Butts Brow.

“There will be breakfasts, frappes and milkshakes as well as healthy alternatives and top-quality ice cream.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to the locals for their amazing support during this past year.”

The Wheatsheaf is situated at 2 Church Street, Willingdon.

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