Local Faces: Robert and Toni Cambray

  |  Published: Jul 1st 1993

July is a very special month for Robert and Toni Cambray. On 1st July, 1989 they re-opened the Fox at Dunsmore after substantial restoration work so they are now entering their 5th Glorious Year.

Robert was born in Witney and trained locally finally becoming Head Chef at the Italian restaurant in Waddesdon. Toni was born in Aylesbury and was educated and worked locally. She then joined Robert and trained in catering working in the restaurant until she had gained enough experience for them to set up on their own.

When the Cambrays arrived in Dunsmore they already had two little girls Laura and Holly who immediately started attending Wendover schools. This is why there is always a happy family atmosphere for the pub which is a focus of Dunsmore village life.

One function which really brings the village together is the annual Summer Ball. Since coming to Dunsmore, Robert and Toni have always supported this as best they could. It now takes place in the Fox under a marquee specially provided for the occasion. Everyone dresses in their most elegant clothes and eats Robert's wonderful food then dances to the strains of Sixth Sense. Tickets cost £ 16.50 each but hurry only limited numbers are available (tel, 623186). Usually about 50 to 60 people from the village attend, but friends are very welcome.

This year as usual the proceeds from the Summer Ball will help refurbish the village hall which is the only other communal building. The responsibility for Dunsmore Village is split between Wendover and Ellesborough Parish Councils which themselves owe allegiance to Aylesbury Vale and High Wycombe District Councils. This is why it is so important for the villagers themselves to nurture their community spirit. Robert and Toni Cambray are delighted to help. Dunsmore is very fortunate in being a tiny hamlet which still has the benefit of a village pub. It is a rare privilege nowadays for the inhabitants of such a small settlement to be able to stroll along to the local and put the world to rights over a quiet pint.

The Fox has a long history as a pub and Robert and Toni are keen to continue to serve the community. Anyone with an ancient story to tell is particularly welcome. The pub is a vital ingredient in British Heritage and these landlords are determined to continue the tradition.

They found a beautiful photograph of the Fox as it was in 1905. This is now available printed on aT-shirt (price £ 10.50 one size) with a modem version on the reverse. Come the Summer, the Fox becomes a focus for a larger cross section of the population. Walkers are very welcome. Some arrange their itinerary to include lunch at the Fox others are charmed to discover it accidentally.

The pub has a large garden which is well equipped to entertain children and weather permitting, there is a barbecue every Sunday lunchtime.
Robert takes great pride in the food he creates and this requires excellent ingredients. Whenever possible he uses local suppliers like Kings Farm Shop meat, Jeromes fruit and vegetables and Atkins bakery products.

August Bank Holiday at the Fox is always a lovely way to end the Summer - or start the Autumn. Once again on Monday 30th August Nigel Foster and his Jazz Band will be there for your pleasure,along with your last chance to sample the delicious barbecue.

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