Local Face: Chris and Carmel Williams

  |  Published: Nov 5th 2014
Chris & Carmel Williams

Local Aylesbury couple Chris and Carmel Williams, with their three children, moved to the Chandos Arms in January 2014 and all the family have really enjoyed the experience. They have been welcomed into village life and done their bit to help organisations too, including a fund raising event for the pre-school where the youngest child was a pupil at the time. U3A are regulars. The glorious summer was an ideal time for the family to get to know the increasing number of families who love to eat and relax at the Chandos Arms. Chris and Carmel both had very stressful jobs before deciding to take on a pub. Carmel was a social worker in Aylesbury and Chris worked in logistics in Milton Keynes. Their long hours took them away from their growing family so they decided that living on the job would give them all more time together. Chris and Carmel are very grateful to their supportive team of co-workers who have allowed this dream to come true. 

The dream has only been achieved through meticulous planning which started 6 months before they moved in. The Chandos Arms is a Charles Wells brewery pub, established in 1842, which allows its landlords the freedom to develop their pub appropriately. While the brewery were refurbishing, the premises, the Williams’ were fine tuning all their strategies including locally sourced meat, fish (Risborough Fish) and vegetables (World’s End Garden Centre). Once they arrived they started recruiting locals to work and making sure that all staff were undergoing suitable training, for example the chef, Holly, already has NVQ level 2 and is working towards level 3 and shift manager Stewie is very experienced but is working towards NVQ level 2.All this careful preparation reaped success in the autumn. The first accolade won by the couple was Best Newcomer in London and the South East Region in the Great British Pub Awards earlier this year and they are finalists in the Best Newcomers section for Charles Wells Brewery (results due in late October) and in the Best Community Pub in the Aylesbury Pub Guide awards (results due in November).Carmel and Chris both help out in the kitchen and Carmel designs the food. The food descriptions are seasonal and very entertaining. The ideas come from strong research and are helped by Carmel’s Jamaican heritage. This has led to some much appreciated Caribbean themed nights with authentic food, of course. The mutton for the goat curry (a good West Indian tradition) is sourced from Kings Farm Shop, their regular supplier.

Locals have enjoyed the man vs Chandos Food challenges where only two people so far have managed the 48oz steak! Monday nights are famous for the Chandos Quiz, a long established tradition which is flourishing more than ever. Sylar provides mid-week magic while Friday and Saturday are the Posh Prosecco nights with exotic cocktails and discounted bottles. The Sunday Carvery is a very popular family event and morphed into a luxury Carvery for Easter and will do again for Boxing Day. Booking is essential, even on ordinary Sundays.

There will be live music on Saturday 8 November and the Christmas Fare menu starts on Monday 17 November, lunchtimes and evenings, booking essential. www.chandosarmswestonturville.co.uk

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