Cheers! Transformed pub lands two prestigious awards

The transformed Separatist Inn on the Great North Road between Bawtry and Retford.
The transformed Separatist Inn on the Great North Road between Bawtry and Retford.

A pub in a small village on the outskirts of Retford is reaping the benefits of a remarkable transformation by winning two prestigious awards.

The Separatist Inn, formerly known as The Huntsman Inn, was rescued from oblivion less than two years ago when it was bought at auction by businessman Kevin Firth.

Located on the Great North Road at Torworth, it is now a 90-cover gastropub and restaurant, with six luxury rooms where visitors can stay. And after an inspection by the AA, it was awarded a rosette for its culinary excellence and a four-star silver award for its accommodation.

“We are so pleased considering we only opened in February 2016,” said commercial director Bruce Drummond. “This will help us to promote the business and, hopefully, get more people through the door. It can only strengthen our position.”

Much of the credit for the food rosette goes to head chef Billy Frost, who oversaw a conscious decision to upgrade The Separatist’s menu from standard pub grub to fine a la carte dining. In the future, the venue hopes to improve to two or even three rosettes for the quality of its food and to attain the highest five-star rating for its accommodation. “We are definitely going in the right direction,” said proud Bruce.

THE curious name of The Separatist Inn reflects the desire of the new owners to create a place that is “different and a bit unique”.

But it is also reflects its historic theme, which relates to the Pilgrim Fathers, who went out on a limb and set sail aboard the Mayflower in 1620 to seek religious freedom and establish a new colony in north America.

The Pilgrims, who included William Bradford, of Austerfield, and William Brewster, of Scrooby, fled the volatile political environment of England, and their story has become part of the history and culture of the USA. The Separatist’s rooms are all named after descendants of the Pilgrims.