Published: 00:01, 09 January 2017
Three years ago New Zealander Dane Allchorne and his wife Sarah made their first foray into owning and running a pub and restaurant in Kent, turning the disused 16th century Bull pub in Sissinghurst into the Milk House, now a thriving business.
But in the midst of their hard work to launch it, the pair already had plans to do it all over again.
They started actively looking for venture No.2 two years ago, finally settling on the George inn in Egerton, near Ashford.
“We wanted a small village pub, and this was perfect,” said Dane. “It is a 20-25 minute drive from the Milk House, but it has a different offer. It means people can get something different – if our regulars at the Milk House came over, they would not find an identical pub with the same food on the menu. That’s important. It’s all about the food.”
Months of research into the history of the 1576 building followed, and a name change, also taken from local history. The Barrow House comes from an ancient burial ground, a barrow, now a mound in the village.
The grade II listed inn in a conservation area was built using timbers from sailing ships and traditional cob and straw plaster, which still remain behind the 17th century timber frame, weatherboards and Kent peg tiles, but the building has been given a 21st century transformation, keeping original features.
A feature important to the history is a fireplace signed by members of Canadian and American squadrons who were based at nearby airfields during the Second World War.
The Barrow House is open seven days a week, including roasts on Sundays.
Its menu, which is sourced with ingredients from a 20-mile radius ranges from grazing options such as smoked onion rings with paprika to small plates of grilled scallops, fennel slaw, lemon oil and cracked black pepper, to mains of classics such as burgers and fish and chips to smoked slow-cooked brisket and brown sugar salmon steak. Vegetarians will also be spoilt for choice and children are not forgotten.
“I didn’t want to over-complicate the food,” said Dane. I like to think you’re sitting at home eating food with your friends and it’s quality.
"It’s a village pub doing great food in this environment and hopefully leading the way rather than following it.”
He has complete faith in his Milk House team to keep things ticking along while he concentrates on Egerton, which also has general manager Paul Baker in place, welcoming in the diners and drinkers.
Pictures by local photographic artist Lou Newsholme are hung on the walls and are available to buy.
There are also plans for local groups to use the pub, and for events and live music evenings.
Find the Barrow House in The Street, Egerton, TN27 9DJ. Call 01233 756 599 or visit thebarrowhouse.co.uk.
* To try making Dane's recipes yourself, click here.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.