Covid-19 (again) and the Prime Minister and us…

To all our much-loved customers from the team at the Geese and Fountain

Kate, Sophie and Nick spent much of this morning working out what our approach should be to the changing situation regarding Covid-19. Then the Prime Minister had a press conference this evening, and made life much more difficult for us, so the planning has to start all over again.

Up front we want to say how much we care about our customers.

We’re genuinely very, very proud of our little pub and what makes it special is the people who work here, and the customers who visit. Without you it is just a pile of bricks and a few cans of beer. With you, it’s the best pub in the world. We are determined to find a way to keep it like that. It’s not too emotional to say ‘we love you guys’ but it does sound a bit of cliché, so let’s pretend we’ve not said it, and move on to the serious stuff…

The situation is changing so fast, it is really difficult to work out what the best thing to do is at any point, but we are determined to do everything we can to both keep the Geese and Fountain going, and also ensure the lowest possible risk to all our customers and staff.

The current situation is that the Prime Minister has advised people not to socialise and not to visit pubs, clubs and theatres. However, he has not instructed us to close. This puts us in a difficult place, as without a specific instruction to close we will not be able to access any business insurance payments for loss of trade or similar.

We are a small pub, in a very small village. In as much as it’s possible to know, the risk represented by a visit to the Geese and Fountain is a lot lower than most pubs in towns and cities. We are also a resource for the village of Croxton Kerrial, and in the absence of a village shop, we are the only place in the village that you can buy milk, bread and so on (we even have toilet rolls). We therefore think that for the time being at least, the best thing we can do is try to keep going – we will keep the pub open, but take further steps to minimise the risks.

We will try our best to communicate with all of you as openly as we can. But please bear in mind that we have no idea what is going to happen next. The Prime Minister’s statement tonight has made a difficult situation a lot worse, and tomorrow the whole situation could change again.

Last weekend we issued a ‘ten point plan’ to all our staff. That remains in place.

In addition:

1. We will be putting up regular communication on our social media. Please ensure you are following the pub on facebook, twitter and instagram, if you use them. As things change we will keep putting out new updates.

2. We un-set several of our tables tonight, and will probably physically remove some into storage. The intention here is to space out customers so each family/group is sitting at least 1 metre away from anyone else. Please respect this effort when you visit the pub, and if a member of staff asks you to move tables, please be understanding.

3. Please WASH YOUR HANDS ON ARRIVAL at the Geese and Fountain. Remember, it’s not just for you – it’s to help safeguard everyone else.

4. We are going to close out online bookings for our B&B rooms. Online booking systems don’t always pass contact details for customers on to us, and in the circumstances we must be able to get in touch with customers in advance of their arrival. We will continue to take BOOKINGS FOR ROOMS OVER THE TELEPHONE ONLY.

5. We will be contacting people who have booked for Mother’s Day lunch this Sunday over the next couple of days, once we have decided the appropriate level to cap bookings at. We will not be taking any more bookings for Mother’s Day at this point. We might ask you to come at a slightly different time as we try to space out bookings more throughout the day and around the pub, keeping everyone as safe as possible. For those who are not able to come this Sunday, we are already planning a “Mother’s Day Part Two” for later in the summer, once things are back to normal.

6. We encourage all our customers to continue to use the Geese and Fountain for take-away, even if you don’t feel able to enjoy a visit to the pub. And we could potentially offer delivery to Croxton and nearby villages – please ask us if this is something that you would find helpful. Remember that we sell several basic household essentials as well as hot and cold food, beers, wines, ciders and soft drinks, chocolate bars and even toilet rolls. Apparently some supermarkets had run out of potatoes this morning, so one customer left here with two pints of beer and a bag of spuds. This is how we survive.

It’s such a shame that the situation has deteriorated today, after what was a wonderful weekend in so many respects. Casino Night in particular was great. Let’s try to keep the positive stuff in our minds over the next few weeks – we have a very special pub, and we are part of a very special Croxton Kerrial community. We can pull together and pull through this situation, and come out of it stronger. In the meantime, wash your hands, and keep the faith!

Love and best wishes to all our customers. Please keep well.

Nick, Kate, Sophie, Greg and all the team at the G&F

An Update from The Geese and Fountain regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus)

This is a long post, and there aren’t many jokes, sorry. Please read until the end, though, there’s a lot we need to say…

An Update from The Geese and Fountain regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus)

We wanted to share with all our friends and customers the steps we are taking to ensure that the Geese & Fountain remains a healthy and safe place for you to come to, and also to outline some of the ways in which we can try to help members of our community who are facing difficulties. We also need to ask for your help.

The health threat represented by the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 are rightly causing concern throughout society. Small businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, are under massive pressures already, and the impact of the current situation is potentially very damaging to many of us. But as a business with strong community focus, the health of colleagues, friends, family, our customers and the wider community is our main concern. By maintaining the highest hygiene standards and sharing official advice with our staff and customers, we hope we can play our role in limiting the spread of Covid-19.

The attached document was circulated to all our staff at a meeting last weekend. Many of the steps we are taking in regards to Coronavirus are things we already do as simple ‘best practice’ for a food and drink business. We want to re-assure all our customers that we are doing everything that we can to take care of you and keep you healthy while you are visiting us.

Key points for customers to note:

1. You will notice staff washing our hands more frequently than usual. This may delay us in serving you at busy times, but we hope you understand and bear with us.

2. We will be checking the ladies and gents toilets frequently for supplies of liquid soap, toilet rolls and towels but if you spot anything running low please let us know.

3. Please join us in washing your hands thoroughly before eating a meal, and after each visit to the toilet.

4. All drinks will be served in clean glasses, no refilling, to avoid any risk of cross-contamination.

5. There is little or no value in healthy individuals wearing face masks or gloves to halt the spread of infections such as coronavirus. We will therefore not be wearing masks or gloves, and we would ask you not to wear masks or gloves when visiting the pub – it only spreads unnecessary panic.

6. If you are unwell, we sadly have to ask you NOT to visit the pub.

7. We will be spraying tables with sanitiser after each use, but if you would like your table cleaned more frequently please ask us, we’d be happy to do so.

In addition, we are very conscious that Croxton Kerrial is potentially a difficult place in which to be ill, especially since the village shop is no longer open. We are already retailing a number of basic essentials at the pub – bread, milk, butter, pain killers, and even toilet rolls, but if there are other items which you would like us to have in stock please let us know.

We hope that this will reassure you that we are doing everything we can to keep the pub a healthy environment for you, and at this stage we have no plans for closing the pub or cancelling any events. We hope you can continue to support us, and we can get through these difficult times together.

A couple of notes for those of you concerned about coming out to the pub, but who are still keen to help us pay our bills through the next few weeks.

1. We are happy to offer TAKEAWAY on all our food, and there is a 20% discount on all bottled beers, wines and ciders for take-home orders. In addition, we will even consider an ad-hoc delivery service for Croxton Kerrial residents (it gives Nick an excuse to go for a walk around the village). So if you are feeling unwell, or self-isolating, and need food, drinks or other basic essentials, get in touch with the pub and we will do whatever we can to help you.

2. We do sell gift vouchers. This is important because, like many hospitality businesses, we’ve noticed a drop in trade over the past two weeks, and this is likely to get worse before it improves. In the meantime, all our bills continue to pile up, and our staff need paying. If you aren’t able to come to the pub but would still like to support our efforts to keep the business running, please consider buying a gift voucher, either for your own use in the future, or to give to friends or relatives. It really would make a big difference.

From Nick, Kate, Sophie, Greg and all our staff, we would like to thank you all for your custom and support and friendship. We value you all very much, and we look forward to celebrating with you when this difficult phase is over. In the meantime, we’re very much a community, and we would ask you to contact us if there is anything we can do to help you get through the next few weeks.

 

Bed and Breakfast Offers for winter and spring 2020

EDIT: In the light of the widespread international travel restrictions relating to the spread of Coronavirus, we have decided to extend the ‘winter escapes’ offer in two ways:

  1. The offer will continue beyond the end of March for as long as major travel restrictions apply. At the moment this seems likely to be mid-April at the earliest.
  2. You can now book your ‘winter escape’ to the Geese and Fountain on a FRIDAY NIGHT as well as on a weeknight. So why not book a Friday away, and have a proper break?

Now read on…

You don’t have to wait until the warmer weather and the lighter evenings to enjoy a break in the countryside. Even in Winter, the vale of Belvoir is a stunning place to visit. Great scenery, interesting towns and villages, and, of course, some fabulous pubs to settle into for a pint by the fire.

We’re offering a couple of great deals at the moment, for the remainder of February and March, to help make a mini-break in the countryside a relaxing one for your wallet as well as for you.

You can book a double or twin room for a week night (Monday to Thursday) for an inclusive dinner, bed and breakfast stay at the Geese and Fountain for just £100 per couple. A big saving from our regular prices, it’s an ideal way to enjoy a relaxing night away, a short break in the delightful Vale of Belvoir. Whether you come to explore Belvoir Castle and the other spectacular properties in the region, walking the quiet country lanes, visiting Melton Mowbray, the ‘rural capital of food’ with its cattle market, cheese shops and the new Round Corner Brewery, there is something for everyone on our doorstep.

And for only £100 you can enjoy a three course dinner (ordering from our pub classics menu, our pizza menu or our evening specials, with no exceptions or supplements), a relaxing night’s sleep in one of our seven comfortable rooms, and round off your stay with one of our traditional breakfasts. The only additional costs will be for whatever drinks you consume while you’re here.

This offer is only available by telephone. Please call the pub on 01476 870350 if you would like to book, and quote our ‘Spring Escape’ offer to get the special price. The offer is, of course, subject to room availability, is not available for ‘special event’ dates, and will not apply after the end of March 2020.

Alternatively, if you would rather stay a little longer, we are offering a FREE THIRD NIGHT with any two night stay. So book a Friday and a Saturday night, we’ll let you stay on Sunday night for nothing. Or take a mid-week break and explore Melton’s market day or the antique shops of Oakham or Newark. We’re convenient for Leicester, Nottingham and Lincoln too. Just call us and book a three night stay (dates before the end of March 2020) and you will only pay for two nights.

Valentine’s Bed and Breakfast Special Offer

Valentine’s Day is getting closer and our delicious Valentine’s Menu will be available this year on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th. The full menu can be found here, and you can book a table here.

But why not make a proper night of it? Combine a Valentine’s Dinner for Two with one of our lovely B&B rooms for the night, complete with a luxurious lay-in the next morning, and breakfast back in the pub at a time of your choosing.

Double rooms at the Geese and Fountain are normally £75 or £80 per night, but as a special offer for Valentine’s, if you call us directly on 01476 870350 and quote the ‘Valentine B&B offer’ you can book a Valentine’s Dinner for Two and a double room for just £120 including breakfast. That’s a saving of £24 – enough to get you both lunch the next day!

The offer is available on both Friday 14th and Saturday 15th February, subject to us having a suitable room available. This offer isn’t available on any other night, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or deal.

New Year’s Day Lunch

Kate, Nick and everyone at the Geese and Fountain would like to wish all our customers a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. To get 2020 off to the best possible start, why not join us for a special family lunch on New Year’s Day?

All lunch guests will receive a glass of mimosa to toast the start of the new year, or orange juice if you prefer.

The New Year’s Day lunch menu will be served slightly later than usual, from 1pm until 5pm, so everyone can have a gentle start to the year. Bookings are now open – call 01476 870350 to book your New Year’s Day lunch table.

 

New Year’s Day Lunch Menu

Mimosa or orange juice

☙ • ❧

Chestnut, pumpkin and Bramley apple soup V

Crab ravioli, crab bisque, crostini

Chicken consommé, crispy chicken skin

Pear tart, stilton, pistachios V

Salt-baked beetroot, smoked aubergine, goat’s cheese, walnuts V

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi, sage butter V

Chicken liver pâté, toast, cornichons

☙ • ❧

Slow-roast Dexter brisket (from D Wiltshire, Croxton Kerrial)

Roast chicken breast (from Gerald Botterill, Croxton Kerrial)

Honey glazed gammon (from G Skinners and sons, Barrowby)

Salmon fillet in Champagne, fondant potatoes

Pan-fried wild duck breast, blackberry sauce

Mushroom, spinach and pumpkin pithivier V

Celeriac and sweet garlic open pie V

All the above served with roast and mashed potato, Yorkshire pudding,
chestnut stuffing, roasted carrots, leeks au gratin and seasonal vegetables.

Thai chilli and ginger hake, soy and sesame noodles, prawn crackers

☙ • ❧

Pears baked with lemon, bay and marsala wine

Honey poached oranges, Grand Marnier chocolate mousse

Champagne jelly, syllabub and frosted grapes

Whisky and chocolate cremeux, whisky ice cream

White chocolate and cranberry bread and butter pudding

Caramel panna cotta, gingerbread

Colston Bassett stilton cheese, crackers, organic port (£3 supplement)

Just a main course £16 2 courses £21 3 courses £25

 

Beer Advent Calendars – available to order now

You can now order your specially selected Beer Advent Calendar from the Geese and Fountain. Each one is lovingly arranged and packed at the pub from beers that we know and love. 24 delicious beers – pale ales, stouts, sours, bitters, wheat beers and more – from our favourite breweries.

Specially selected to make every day in December a beery delight. It’s a lot better than chocolate. And we don’t say that about many things in life.

£75 – PRE-ORDER BEFORE NOV 20th TO SAVE £10

Order now and collect from the pub from Monday 25th November.

Several personalised selections are possible, including ‘all pale’, ‘all dark’ or ‘all gluten-free’. So if you know someone who would love a selection of stouts and porters to see them through from December 1st to Christmas Eve, then get in touch now. Prices may vary on the special selection boxes, please ask us for details.

Christmas at the Geese and Fountain

We’ve got lots going on in December at the Geese and Fountain. We really do love Christmas.

Most importantly, we have our Christmas celebration menu available all the way through the month. It’s a perfect combination of classic Christmas dishes with creative new ideas, and the centrepiece of the whole thing is, of course, turkey or goose from Gerald and Richard Botterill’s family farm right here in Croxton Kerrial.

We also have some special family events going on. Everything kicks off with our Christmas Fayre on Saturday, November 30th. And two weeks later, Father Christmas himself drops in for Breakfast With Santa. After that we’ve got carol singing, a Christmas themed pub quiz, lots of festive live music, and then a succession of very special menus for the holiday period itself.

On Christmas Eve, we take a break from all the turkey and Brussels sprouts to bring you ‘Escape From Christmas’, which this year features an Italian theme. Our Boxing Day lunch is a dazzling selection of both traditional and more modern dishes.

New Year’s Eve this year will be a 1950s theme rock’n’roll’n’cocktails party, with live music from the one and only Mr Aron Fender. You can now book for the buffet, and take advantage of some great deals on cocktails by ordering one of our ‘package deals’. Or you can just turn up on the night and enjoy the party!

And then New Year’s Day will be a return to classic tradition with a family friendly New Year’s Day lunch menu. 

Whatever you want for Christmas this year, you will find it at the Geese and Fountain.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup – and a great deal on breakfasts

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is less than a month away. Preparation games are well underway, squads are selected, and the bookies have installed New Zealand as clear favourites to complete a hat-trick of World Cup titles. All that remains now is putting the games in your diary and working out where you want to watch them.

Unlike many recent major sports events, the timings aren’t exactly typical pub hours. With the games taking place in Japan, many of the games are kicking off early morning in the UK – especially matches featuring the southern hemisphere teams, whose games appear to have been scheduled for prime time viewing in their own countries.

That means that for us in the UK, we’re more likely to be eating breakfast than downing pints while we watch the games. Luckily, the Geese and Fountain has you covered for that too. With our regular opening for breakfast at 8.30am, we will also be opening a little early on those days when a home nations side is in action, and lots of the games finish just in time for us to serve you a pint or two to celebrate – or commiserate – over the result.

Breakfast Season Ticket Saves You Money

And we’re introducing a special breakfast offer for the Rugby World Cup – the BREAKFAST SEASON TICKET. Buy a season ticket and get ten breakfasts during the course of the tournament at a significant discount, including complimentary tea or coffee and fresh fruit juice.

There are a range of season tickets available, depending on the breakfast you want to enjoy while you’re watching the games:

  • Farmer’s Breakfast Season Ticket (includes juice and tea or coffee): £90
  • Veggie Breakfast Season Ticket (includes juice and tea or coffee): £72
  • Full English or Breakfast Sandwich Season Ticket (includes juice and tea or coffee): £54

The full fixture list (with amended pub opening times) is as follows:

Friday 20th September 
Match 1: Japan v Russia – 11:45am

Saturday 21st September (we will be open, and serving breakfasts, from 8.00am)
Match 2: Australia v Fiji – 5:45am
Match 3: France v Argentina – 8:15am
Match 4: New Zealand v South Africa – 10:45am

Sunday 22nd September
Match 5: Italy v Namibia – 6:15am
Match 6: Ireland v Scotland – 8:45am
Match 7: England v Tonga – 11:15am

Monday 23rd September
Match 8: Wales v Georgia – 11:15am

Tuesday 24th September
Match 9: Russia v Samoa – 11:15am

Wednesday 25th September
Match 10: Fiji v Uruguay – 6:15am

Thursday 26th September
Match 11: Italy v Canada – 8:45am
Match 12: England v USA – 11:45am

Saturday 28th September (we will be open, and serving breakfasts, from 8.00am)
Match 13: Argentina v Tonga – 5:45am
Match 14: Japan v Ireland – 8:15am
Match 15: South Africa v Namibia – 10:45am

Sunday 29th September
Match 16: Georgia v Uruguay – 6:15am
Match 17: Australia v Wales – 8:45am

Monday 30th September
Match 18: Scotland v Samoa – 11:15am

Wednesday 2nd October
Match 19: France v USA – 8:45am
Match 20: New Zealand v Canada – 11:15am

Thursday 3rd October
Match 21: Georgia v Fiji – 6:15am
Match 22: Ireland v Russia – 11:15am

Friday 4th October
Match 23: South Africa v Italy – 10:45am

Saturday 5th October (we will be open, and serving breakfasts, from 8.00am)
Match 24: Australia v Uruguay – 6:15am
Match 25: England v Argentina – 9:00am
Match 26: Japan v Samoa – 11:30am

Sunday 6th October
Match 27: New Zealand v Namibia – 5:45am
Match 28: France v Tonga – 8:45am

Tuesday 8th October
Match 29: South Africa v Canada – 11:15am

Wednesday 9th October (we will be open, and serving breakfasts, from 8.00am)
Match 30: Argentina v USA – 5:45am
Match 31: Scotland v Russia – 8:15am
Match 32: Wales v Fiji – 10:45am

Friday 11th October
Match 33: Australia v Georgia – 11:15am

Saturday 12th October
Match 34: New Zealand v Italy – 5:45am
Match 35: England v France – 9:15am
Match 36: Ireland v Samoa – 11:45am

Sunday 13th October
Match 37: Namibia v Canada – 4:15am
Match 38: USA v Tonga – 6:45am
Match 39: Wales v Uruguay – 9:15am
Match 40: Japan v Scotland – 11:45am

Saturday 19th October (we will be open, and serving breakfasts, from 8.00am)
QF1: Pool C winner v Pool D runner up – 8:15am
QF2: Pool B winner v Pool A runner up– 11:15am

Sunday 20th October (we will be open, and serving breakfasts, from 8.00am)
QF3: Pool D winner v Pool C runner up – 8:15am
QF4: Pool A winner v Pool B runner up – 11:15am

Saturday 26th October
SF1: QF1 winner v QF2 winner – 9:00am

Sunday 27th October
SF2: QF3 winner v QF4 winner – 9:00am

Friday 1st November
Third-place playoff: SF1 loser v SF2 loser – 9:00am

Saturday 2nd November
Final: SF1 winner v SF2 winner – 9:00am

Except where indicated above, the Geese and Fountain will be open from 8.30am, with breakfast served from 8.30am until 10.30am (or until midday on Saturdays). Licensing hours commence at 11.00am (except on Sundays, when it is midday).

Breakfast Season Tickets are on sale now in the pub.

Autumn Escape to the Pub: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast for just £100

As the evenings start to draw in (sorry for mentioning it), the leaves turn golden, the children return to school and we wonder when it will be time to light the fires again, we’d like to invite you to enjoy a special autumn offer.

For September, October and November 2019, you can now book a double or twin room for a week night (Monday to Thursday) for an inclusive dinner, bed and breakfast stay at the Geese and Fountain for just £100 per couple.

A big saving from our regular prices, it’s an ideal way to enjoy a relaxing night away, a short break in the delightful Vale of Belvoir. Whether you come to explore Belvoir Castle and the other spectacular properties in the region, walking the quiet country lanes, visiting Melton Mowbray, the ‘rural capital of food’ with its cattle market, cheese shops and the new Round Corner Brewery, there is something for everyone on our doorstep.

And for only £100 you can enjoy a three course dinner (ordering from our pub classics menu, our pizza menu or our evening specials, with no exceptions or supplements), a relaxing night’s sleep in one of our seven comfortable rooms, and round off your stay with one of our traditional breakfasts. The only additional costs will be for whatever drinks you consume while you’re here.

This offer is only available by telephone. Please call the pub on 01476 870350 if you would like to book, and quote our ‘Autumn Escape’ offer to get the special price. The offer is, of course, subject to room availability and will not apply after the end of November 2019.

New menus launched this week

Some exciting changes happening this week to the menus at the Geese and Fountain.

Over the last few months, we’ve been offering food on our ‘pub classics’ menu right through the day from midday until 9pm on every day except Sundays. It’s been such a success that we’re now making those our standard hours, at least for the rest of 2019. We might cut down again in the quiet months of the winter but for the time being we’re delighted to offer you a full choice of pub classic meals ALL DAY from midday to 9pm, Monday to Saturday.

And the really exciting news is that we are also launching our new, expanded “Pub Classics” menu this week, which means that several dishes which have previously only been available as ‘specials’ at dinner time are now available all day long. This includes some established favourites like our slow-roasted duck leg, rump and sirloin steaks, and the pan-fried salmon fillet. But it also includes some new dishes – a classic Prawn Cocktail is now available in the starters section, and Spaghetti alla carbonara is a brand-new main course option.

Alongside the newly expanded Pub Classics menu, we are also revising and improving all our other menus: adding some new options to the children’s menu, re-writing the breakfast menu to make it clearer, and also simplifying things on Sunday evenings, by offering the whole of our Pub Classics menu and the Pizza choices in place of the ‘Sunday Suppers’ menu we used during the winter.

So in short – more choices than ever before. Kate and her team in the kitchen are excited to be offering you even more of the meals you want to enjoy, at the times you want them. We look forward to seeing you back at the Geese and Fountain to try out the new dishes.

Full details of the menus and the mealtimes can be found on our Eat with us page.