Dorset pubs

Meet Your Local | The Thimble Inn, Piddlehinton

Our regular column in which you discover the faces and stories behind the pub sign. This month we’ve been chatting to Emma-Jayne and Michal who run the Thimble Inn.

How did you end up at The Thimble Inn?


Michal and I met working together at a large wedding venue & hotel in Somerset. After working long hard hours for someone else we decided to venture out on our own; Michal had been a cook for 28 years and had plenty of experience running busy kitchens, and I love to talk (!) so starting our own business seemed liked the
obvious next step. We decided to approach Palmers – I grew up in a Palmers pub in Bridport and my mum spoke very highly of them. After our initial meeting with them, we narrowed our list of requirements down; we were looking for a busy pub with a thatched roof in a pretty village, with a large garden and one that already had a good reputation. The Thimble ticked all of those boxes!


Tell us about the last 18 months?


Luckily as owner operators we stayed open for takeaways at weekends – it was a strange but we quickly adapted to a new routine. The support we received was amazing! Friday night was our “pub classics” menu, dishes such as our Fish & chips, our Thimble Pie, Burger etc. Saturday night was our theme night, which we changed each week, the Mexican & American night were definitely the favourites! And then Sundays were all about the traditional
Sunday lunch. Mothers Day and Valentines Day were incredibly busy, we fed way more people than we would ever
have been able to fit inside the pub. Now that we are back to normal hours, business is busier than ever! We have more staff working for us than we have ever had before.

What’s your favourite local place to visit on an afternoon off?


We love to eat out, but sadly, like us most good establishments are closed on a Monday, so any spare time we do have is spent walking the dog… we love Puddletown Forest, it’s so pretty any time of year and we also love Thornecombe Woods. We also have great walks here in the Piddle Valley countryside which we discovered during our lockdown.


What part of the pub is your absolute favourite?


Our well is our favourite feature – when the pub’s extension was built the owners of the building at the time decided to make a feature and put a glass top on the well. Our guests love it!


What’s been your biggest challenge since taking over? What are you proud of?


Apart from covid, probably our biggest challenge is juggling family life with our working life. But that’s part of normal working life for anyone! The best thing to come out of our time at The Thimble so far is being featured in the Financial Times Magazine. Tim Hayward the FT food critic had a meal here in the summer and gave us a glowing review which we are extremely proud of.


Which dish is your most popular?


We have just launched our brand new Autumn menu – it’s early days but people are loving our Hake dish. Its a Catalan stew with squid, mussels & prawns mixed with potatoes & chorizo. The feedback so far has been pretty
good.

So what’s next – do you have big plans on the horizon?


At the moment we are taking each day as it comes, just making sure that we deliver good food, good drinks and
good service to all our guests. Although Christmas will be fast approaching!


To book a table at The Thimble call 01300 348 270 or do it online here: https://www.thimbleinn.co.uk

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