Martin Rickman was just four years old when his dad took over the Malthouse Inn in the pretty Hampshire village of Timsbury. 44 years later, that most traditional of English pubs has become one of the area’s favourite eateries and, under Martin’s practised eye, has been joined by another pub in nearby Romsey – the Sun Inn. Like so many successful restaurants, the kitchens in both inns are powered by Rational ovens.
Martin took over the running of the Malthouse Inn from his father 12 years ago, opening a new family dining experience, Carol’s Carvery, soon afterwards.
Traditional Pub Fare
As well as inheriting his father’s skills as a landlord – serving great beer in a warm and friendly environment – Martin has injected his passion for good food and a sense of fun. As well as serving traditional English pub fare, using locally sourced meat and vegetables, the Malthouse is an Aladdin’s cave of curiosities from multi-coloured Dr Martin boots, to tables made from iron bed frames, Disney memorabilia, dolls in prams and pictures of sinking ships where the pictures themselves are sinking into the wall. Three acres of gardens include large patio areas for alfresco dining, a playground and even a five-a-side football pitch.
The Sun Inn is an equally novel dining experience. The restaurant there is Ricky’s Steakhouse – specialising in grilled food inspired by the American West. Every Sunday at Ricky’s is Thanksgiving with roast turkey and gammon alongside a range of locally sourced steaks.
As you can imagine, running two busy family dining pubs can put a real strain on the kitchens. Four years ago Martin invested in two, 10-rack Rational ovens for the Malthouse’s carvery and added a third when he purchased the Sun Inn two years later. The ovens are running 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
“The restaurants are constantly busy,” said Martin. “On Sundays we may serve up to 800 covers at the Malthouse alone, so we are totally reliant on the ovens. When the restaurant is full of hungry diners, we just can’t afford any breakdowns.”
Martin has used AC Services (Southern) to service and repair his Rational ovens ever since he installed them. AC Services is the authorised Rational oven service partner for Hampshire and the South, the South West and South Wales.
“It has been a fantastic service,” he said. “When we have had problems, they have responded quickly and their engineers have always managed to get the ovens back up and running. They have not let us down once.”