Public House of the Month
TWICKENHAM, London & Middlesex
A very friendly pub, beloved by guests the Eel Pie is close to the river and only a 15 minute walk from the home of rugby in Twickenham or 20 minutes from 'The Stoop' the home of Harlequins RFC. With a range of award winning Badger ale and with frequent events, the Eel Pie is the perfect place for a quick lunch or a few drinks before the rugby.
9-11 CHURCH STREET TWICKENHAM Middlesex, TWICKENHAM TW1 3NJ
Tel: 02088 911 717
- Dogs Allowed
- Free Wifi
General Managers Jon and Emily Moran have been at the Eel Pie in Twickenham for four years, and have seen the pub through a stunning transformation. We caught up with Jon to see what he had to say about his pub...
How did you start in the hospitality industry?
Emily and I both used to work in the charity sector. We decided that we wanted to work together, and hospitality fit the bill, so we got married and looked to start in a pub. We moved from our first pub into the Eel Pie in Twickenham not long after Emily became pregnant, and it’s been our home and workplace since 2011.
How has your previous work differed from your current one?
I worked in allocated housing and it definitely put my people skills into practice. It’s essential for any landlord to be chatty and friendly, and be able to build rapport with their Guests.
We both enjoy working hard and our jobs in the charity sector whilst very rewarding, were high-pressure. We wanted our decision to start a family to mean we could spend more time together. Whilst living together and working together isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it works perfectly for us.
And what do you like best about managing the Eel Pie?
This time last year we were shut for extensive refurbishment, and it’s made such a difference to the pub. We have had a redecoration, and lots of thoughtful touches added to the different areas in the pub. It’s completely changed the Guest’s experience. In the past it was a great little local, and since the work it’s grown to be an even better version of itself. We love the work that’s happened, it was a boost to business and ultimately, our Guests deserved it for supporting the pub and the team for years.
So how do your Team and how does your pub sum up the Hall & Woodhouse values?
The Eel Pie has a tight little Team, and dedication runs through every Team Member. It’s really important for every person to work together selflessly and seamlessly. On match days, we welcome huge volumes of Guests, and it’s essential that the Team runs like a well-oiled machine to maintain the high level of hospitality that we like to offer when we are not so busy, our ambition is to not allow standards to slip under pressure.
Everyone puts in lots of hours in when rugby internationals are on, just down the road in Twickenham stadium, sometimes they work 8am-10pm, they just power through. Each Team Member does the pub a credit when it comes to days like that. With the Rugby World Cup coming up this year, there will be dedication everywhere!
We do get a chance to relax afterwards though, a drink and a pizza and time to put our feet up after closing is a time for everyone to bond, and get ready to do it all over again! We really do have a great Team.
Tell us more about The Eel Pie, what is special about your pub?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s always been a strong local and rugby pub, and the new look hasn’t tried to change that. The atmosphere is still buzzing and friendly, but now it appeals more to everyone.
It’s a place for couples, families, friends and rugby enthusiasts. Our Guests are from all walks of life, and the diversity of our clientele makes it special to anyone who visits. Its location, atmosphere, regulars and Team that make the Eel Pie such a hit.
How is your pub part of the local community? And what kind of people do you have visiting your pub?
Church Street is a very involved area of Twickenham, and we are very active in our business community. The street has become a focal point for community events, and in recent years has played host to all kinds of exciting (and interesting!) happenings.
For example, a Santa’s grotto was set up for kids (big and small) to visit over the festive period. Or in
warmer months, the street becomes a pitch for tug of war! We put forward a team, and we haven’t come first yet, but we are working on it…
If I were to buy you a drink from the bar, what would you like?
The newest addition to the Badger beer family is the refreshing and punchy ‘Leaping Legend’. We are getting on draught in February (spoiler alert!), and it I really enjoyed it when it was released last year in the bottle.
What would you order to eat with your drink of choice?
We do some great ‘Small Plates’ here at the Eel Pie, which are perfect for nibbling on when you’re watching a match. I’d have a pint of Leaping Legend with some spicy tapas meatballs and maybe some filo prawns.
What’s your favourite season of the year at the pub?
After the refurbishment last Spring, Christmas was very successful for us this year. We were often full to the rafters, and the atmosphere was great. It always is in the run-up to Christmas, everyone’s so excited!
Although, now I say that, the rugby season is also great fun. Tournaments like the Six Nations keep us on our toes, and we have no doubt that the World Cup will also be keeping us occupied! It gives us a chance to bond after working together so much, and it’s definitely good for our fitness levels as we have to move all of the furniture out twice a day, every Saturday; once in the morning to make space for all of our Guests, and again after we close in anticipation of Sunday Lunch.
What’s good to see and experience in your area after a visit to the pub?
Though you wouldn’t know it from the road or even the street, we are just by the River Thames, and you can walk past it, all the way to Richmond. We have the best of both worlds because we can enjoy the peace and natural aspects of the countryside, with the convenience of being close to London.
Nearby national icon Eel Pie Island (after which the pub was named), is just a short walk away. It was the South’s answer to the Cavern Club in the 1960s, and was a hippie commune through 1970s. These days, it’s still a place of inspiration for musicians and artists, and a simply beautiful area.
Thanks for your time Jon, best of luck to you and Emily, and your team, especially for the Rugby World Cup!
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