FORMER rugby player Frank Segrave-Daly has turned Crudwell hotelier, and says he is loving every minute of his new role.
Owner of the Mayfield House Hotel since 2007, Frank became the venue’s hands on landlord in May, renaming it the Pettifers Freehouse Hotel after its 17th century origins.
“It used to belong to Pettifer & Sons, who were veterinary apothecaries, producing animal medicines. They got their royal licence in 1668,” said Frank.
“We wanted to honour the historic role the building has played in the local community.”
The hotel comprises 22 en-suite rooms, plus a bistro and bar, and a function room for meetings, local events and fine dining.
The reopening in May followed a stunning refurbishment, which created a stylish and welcoming new interior.
The small, family owned business is run by Frank and his wife Lynne, with the help of their friendly and long-serving team of local staff.
“Many of our original staff have stayed with Lynne and I, which is wonderful, and the support of the village and local community, especially in these tough times has been heart warming.”
Frank is very keen to involve the local community in the business.
So far this has included taking on three local youngsters – all training in the local apprentice schemes.
In the restaurant, Frank and his team aim to serve the best of local fare, assembled in an imaginative and ever-changing menu.
Hand-selected ales, lagers and wines can be enjoyed in the large open plan bar and snug or the walled beer garden, and there are plans to open for live music and garden-pizzas soon.
Before turning hotelier, Frank was always involved in rugby.
Although he did not play professionally, he did play for club and county – Southwold and Old Cantabs, Cambridge.
He also worked for Guinness as their commercial manager for rugby, working on the Guinness Premiership and Lions tours.
And he says some of his favourite memories are of decades of watching rugby live with his dad.
“The singing, the drinking, laughter and tears, the finest camaraderie and the craic always mighty.”