Owners Clive and Ann Preston talk about the enduring appeal of The Ring O Bells, Thornton

PUBLISHED: 17:08 23 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:18 20 February 2013

The Ring O’ Bells

The Ring O’ Bells

The Ring O Bells is an award-winning country pub and restaurant in Thornton, near Bradford. Owners Clive and Ann Preston talk about its enduring appeal to diners from far and wide

The Ring O Bells is an award-winning country pub and restaurant in Thornton, near Bradford. Owners Clive and Ann Preston talk about its enduring appeal to diners from far and wide

How would you describe your style of restaurant?
We are an award-winning family-owned country pub and restaurant serving the best of British and European cuisine. We use only the finest quality produce all sourced from local suppliers. The a la carte menu and daily specials feature seasonal produce and dishes. The Ring O Bells was originally a Wesleyan Chapel and we still have the original oak panelling and beams in our traditional bar dining area. Photographs of old Thornton recapturing scenes from the 1920s are on the walls. They are complemented by more modern and contemporary paintings from Yorkshire artist Ian Middleton in our Bronte Restaurant.

What are the key ingredients to your success?
We serve almost 100 per cent fresh food which is lovingly created and prepared by a team of professional chefs. Quality combined with value for money and our emphasis on British traditional dishes with a Ring O Bells twist has been our greatest success story. We are presently celebrating our 20th anniversary year which speaks for itself.

What makes the location special?
The village links with the Bronte family gives the name to our Bronte Restaurant. The Rev Bronte was the Vicar of St. James Parish Church in Thornton and it is where the Bronte sisters were born and raised before they moved to Haworth. We have spectacular views of the distant Pennines and moors. On a clear day we can see for miles and part of the Bronte Way walk goes past our front door and conservatory.

How have your customers influenced your menu choices?
Our customers are discerning and have high expectations because of our enviable reputation. We attract business clients as well as families, groups and smaller parties. They demand quality, traditional food and good value all at the same time and this is reflected and acknowledged in our strong emphasis on British cuisine.

They expect interesting and creative specials and enjoy trying something new. Sunday lunches are very popular and again the emphasis is on the traditional choices. Nothing sells better than our special sticky toffee pudding or suet jam roly poly. We offer something for everyone, with a choice of quality, sensibly priced wines by the glass or bottle.

What brings your customers back again and again?
We ensure we have something new and interesting to try or sample. Our high standards of service coupled with consistently good food ensure that our customers will return and hopefully encourage others to do the same. They also come to us because we serve only fresh produce and they are impressed with our allegiance and support for local suppliers, many of whom have become part of the Ring O Bells trading philosophy and association.

Who is your head chef, what is their experience and their signature dish?
Our head chef is Ian Booth who grew up in a family working in hospitality. He trained at Huddersfield College and worked at the Ritz Hotel and the five-star Stafford Hotel before joining us. One of his signature dishes is Herb Crusted Supreme of Scottish Salmon with Roast Garlic Mash, Sauted Spinach and Citrus Sauce which he served to the Prime Minister David Cameron when he made a surprise visit to the Ring O Bells for lunch in March.

The print version of this article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life

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