Thatchers opens the doors of The Railway Inn

Staff at The Railway Inn. General manager Warren Zilch is pictured back row, second from the left. A

Staff at The Railway Inn. General manager Warren Zilch is pictured back row, second from the left. Assistant manager Leigh Damerell is pictured centre front. - Credit: Archant

MONTHS of extensive redevelopment have come to an end and Thatchers has opened the doors of The Railway Inn, Cider House and Kitchen.

The bar at The Railway Inn has been carved by hand to reflect Somerset's heritage.

The bar at The Railway Inn has been carved by hand to reflect Somerset's heritage. - Credit: Archant

The Sandford-based cider company purchased The Railway Inn, in Station Road, in October 2013 when its landlord and landlady gave up their post after 15 years of pulling pints for the community.

Thatchers unveiled its renovation plans at the end of last year.

Since then extensive work to create a light and airy restaurant, a cosy bar area and an open outdoor space for families to enjoy has taken place.

The pub’s centrepiece bar has been carved by hand to celebrate some of Somerset’s traditions and heritage, including wassailing.

The bar is stocked with Thatchers’ full range of ciders as well as spirits, beers, ales and lagers.

The wine list has been chosen by Kelli Coxhead, of The Wine Shop in Winscombe and the food at the 62-seat restaurant has been put together to compliment the drinks on offer.

The Railway Inn.

The Railway Inn. - Credit: Archant


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The Railway Inn’s head chef Matthew Hampshire said: “Using seasonal ingredients with respect is something I’m passionate about, as is using locally-sourced produce.

“We’ve teamed up with some wonderful producers in and around Somerset, many on our doorstep, who we are working with for The Railway Inn menu.

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“So you’ll find free range meat from Blagdon Butchers, fresh vegetables from The Ethicurean, and local cheeses from Lye Cross, just as an example.”

Thatchers – which has expanded to be sold in the United States and taken on Australia in recent years – has brought in experienced general manager Warren Zilch to run the gastro pub.

Mr Zilch said: “We want to make a visit to The Railway very special.

“There’s been a lot of planning behind the scenes, and we know the opening has been widely anticipated.

“It’s a great feeling to be up and running.”

The company’s managing director Martin Thatcher said: “It’s such a pleasure to be open and welcoming guests.

“The pub looks amazing, it has such a warm and inviting atmosphere, we look forward to creating a much-loved place here in the heart of Sandford where everyone feels at home and at ease.

“We’d like to thank everyone in Sandford who has contributed to the planning of the pub with their ideas and encouragement.

“This really is a pub for everyone to share and enjoy.”

What do you think of the pub’s makeover? Tweet us @WSMercury to let us know.

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