The new landlords at The Lamb Inn in Little Milton have got a lot on their plates. Not only are Ben and Charmaine Tavassoly-Moss opening their new look pub this week, having received a rapturous reception from the locals, but their new puppy Monty is getting used to its new home and Charmaine is heavily pregnant.
But then having been searching for the right pub for 1.5 years they are so delighted to be finally realising their dreams, they can’t wait.
“I’ve always wanted my own pub and in my dreams it looked like this – 16th century, thatched roof, beams, a big garden, beautiful countryside, lovely village”
“We didn’t want to open until everything was in place,” they say, before proudly showing me around.
The Lamb Inn in Little Milton was actually the first pub they saw when they began their hunt back in 2020 but were outbid. “It was love at first sight, ” Ben says. “I’ve always wanted my own pub and in my dreams it looks like this – 16th century, thatched roof, beams, a big garden, beautiful countryside, lovely village.
“But we got gazumped so we kept looking but nothing else ticked the boxes. And then we got a call just before Christmas to say the sale had fallen through, did we still want it and could we proceed quickly, and here we are, just a few months later and ready to open properly,” he grins.
“The previous landlords Des and Ian have retired but they have looked after The Lamb so well, so it feels really loved, but we still had the opportunity to put our stamp on it.”
Food is a big focus for the couple (Ben grew up in pubs and restaurants – his dad ran Drakes in South Kensington), so a modernised kitchen, Kopa grill and fired oven are all in place and they have already recruited a great kitchen team headed up by head chef Justyna Nowogrodzka, sous chef Anthony Junior Ford.
The new menu is being rolled out thanks to the input of Great British Menu’s Ruth Hanson whom they know personally.
Using local suppliers is also important to Tom and Charmaine, so they are already using Calnan Butchers in Watlington, the Oxford Wine Company, as well as an extensive beer, real ale, gin and whisky selection, as locally as possible.
“We wanted people to feel comfortable in their local pub while stepping it up a notch to also attract passers by, as well as making The Lamb Inn a destination pub, and then introduce dishes such as a shoulder of lamb on Sundays or a Chateaubriand on the grill.
So how are they feeling now that they are ready? “We are keen adventurers of food and have big plans for the future, but for now we are just keen to get going and open our beautiful pub to the public.”
“We have put so much time, thought and money into this,” Ben said looking around him at the snug pub interior before leading me out into the vast garden at the back.
“So welcoming the locals on our trial night was amazing – to hear them chatting and enjoying themselves was what we’d always hoped for, and it seems to be reciprocated.”
For more information go to https://lambinnlittlemilton.co.uk