Public House of the Month
A famous pub-restaurant the Angel is situated on the edge of rolling countryside, close to Bournemouth and the historic market town of Wimborne. With a large car park, beautiful gardens and a playground the Angel provides the perfect backdrop for drinks, lunch and dinner and lazy days
RINGWOOD ROAD LONGHAM WIMBORNE Dorset BH22 9AP
Tel: 01202 873 778
- Children's Play Area
- Dogs Allowed
- Car Park
- Free Wifi
I took some time speak to Heidi McLaughlin the manager of The Angel about the pub and her time in the industry.
Tell me about how you first started in this industry?
It’s in my blood, my parents ran a pub for many years when I was younger and although I vowed to never do it, the day after my 18th birthday I started working at my parents’ pub and was trained by a landlord with very high standards. This experience got me bar and waiting jobs through university where I was studying marketing and journalism.
In my last year at university I took a pub job full time until I found a ‘proper’ job and I haven’t looked back since. Over the last 12 years I have co-run managed houses, had my own tenancy, run managed houses, and now I’m managing The Angel.
How is The Angel part of its local community?
The Angel is a hub for Longham and Ferndown and is used by the community because of its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The local schools use us as a place to meet at end of term and we are respected by other businesses who often use us as a venue for meetings. We are also part of The John Thornton young achievers foundation – a charity set up by the family of soldier John Thornton, who was killed in action. The charity raises money to fund young people’s personal development and help them to pursue their ambitions. Every year the charity celebrates John’s life with us. We also have car clubs and walkers meets.
What are your pub’s best bits?
Have you seen the garden? It’s huge! It has little areas, different environments and levels, and an awesome bandstand – which we hope to make full use of in the summer.
The Angel also has a fantastic past- when I was clearing the office out I found this article about the pub which says that the first man ever recorded as ‘slaking his thirst at the Longham Angel’ was Isaac Gulliver in 1780. The pub had an earth floor, it didn’t have a bar and it served ale in jugs from the back. So we are definitely part of the history of this fine place!
You must have a lot of funny stories about being a publican, what’s your funniest pub story?
There’s probably a lot that can’t be printed, a lot of the stories come from the team for example when one of my new barman got asked for a bitter lemon, and he gave the guest a slice of lemon “I thought she said bit o’ lemon”. Or a team member not knowing who a celebrity was when he came in to make a booking, when she asked him for his name he was massively offended. The thing is funny things happen every day that’s why I love this job. I laugh every day.
If I was to go to the bar now and buy you a Badger beer which one would I get you?
I am a Golden Champion girl through and through, I was never an ale drinker before I started with H&W, but that’s the great thing about the range – there is something for everyone.
An awesome tip- if you are cooking a beef brisket use Poacher’s Choice.
What’s good to see and experience in your area after a visit to the pub?
We are lucky enough to be close to so many beautiful places, Wimborne Minster is minutes away, The New Forest is readily accessible, as well as Bournemouth and Poole.
What is your favourite time of year at your pub?
Christmas Eve is the best day without fail. Everyone is happy and full of joy and anticipation of a delicious Christmas Dinner. Having nearly had a 2 years break from working in pubs, I can honestly say I have missed the frenzy and party atmosphere of Christmas Eve.
If you could recommend a perfect combination of Badger ale and meal for your visitors – what would you recommend?
A Mark Woodhouse classic, a bottle of Blandford Flyer and a chocolate brownie-it’s delicious.
How does your pub sum up the Hall & Woodhouse values?
Ambition – we are at the start of a new journey here at The Angel, Every idea we have to achieve a better business is fed from our ambition to be the best place to visit in the area, and one of the best pubs in Hall and Woodhouse.
Teamwork – we are in it to win it. The team know we need to make money, but they also enjoy getting to know each other and having fun whilst they work. The team is very new, so team work is evolving and growing, but we’re getting there!
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