Public House of the Month

The Sloop, Pub, Boat, Poole

The Sloop

Poole, Dorset

The Sloop is a warm and welcoming pub and restaurant in the heart of Poole. Close to the A35 you can easily travel to Poole quay or Bournemouth town centre. The pub is a central part of the local community, newly renovated; it offers a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The pub has a spacious function area which can be used for private hire for meetings or small parties as well as a lovely, modern garden and large car-parking facilities to the rear of the building. It is known for its great selection of home cooked traditional food, including all of the usual pub favourites you would expect to see. 

Commercial Road, Poole, Dorset BH14 0HU

Tel: 01202 734526

  • Meeting Room
  • Car Park
  • Garden
  • Regular Entertainment

The Sloop

Posted on October 2015

Congratulations to Andy and Caroline at the Sloop who have won Pub of the Month for October. We caught up with Andy to see what he had to say.

How and where did you start in the hospitality industry?

Over the last 10 years, I have always worked on and off in the hospitality industry and in 2011 was given the opportunity to run a second pub for a local publican.  After one year I was offered the chance to take over the tenancy, and jumped at the chance to continue building on a once forgotten village public house, and turned it into a thriving hub of the community.

Caroline joined me in late 2012, and in 2014 we decided to take a leap of faith and move to a larger more town central public house.  We then wanted to move down to the South area, and knowing Poole well, and the great public houses that Hall and Woodhouse have in the county we contacted them regarding making the move.

From the very moment we contacted Hall and Woodhouse, and met with the Area Manager, they have supported us.  Helping us to find the right pub and even before we moved into our pub, we were in regular contact and had fantastic assistance in making decisions regarding how to operate the new premises. 

We had moved from a small village pub to a much larger premises which is now very food led and a much greater challenge for us to sink our teeth into. They made the transition of moving in very easy, with help and support from the Area Manager and the Marketing Team.  They are on constant standby to assist with ideas and formatting plans. 

How has your previous work differed from your current one?

We both came from Commercial Sales and Marketing backgrounds with a good stable knowledge of running a pub from the experience we had gained from our village pub. Being a team where both parties have their strengths and weaknesses really helps.  I have a great knowledge of marketing and sales from my previous job working for the biggest supplier to the music industry.  Caroline's office and managerial background, having been an Area Manager for one of the largest funeral homes means together we make a formidable team. 

The team is not just with us, selecting the right staff and the help and support we have and do receive from Hall and Woodhouse enables us to grow and develop each day.

Running your own pub is not just a job, it becomes your life, and you have to be prepared for that.  It is 7 days a week 52 weeks a year, plus weekends and national holidays become your busy times.  There is no such thing as a 9-5 in this industry, but making that choice moving to our new pub has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.

What do you like best about managing your public houses?

For us, especially where we are now, it has to be the achievement and the challenge we set ourselves, knowing that all the hard work is worth it.  Every day is different, with different people.  You have your regulars, but there is always such a diverse amount of people that will walk through your door and that is great.

It's a real high when people leave and say "thank you for a great night".  Knowing you made their night out enjoyable and special, you get a real sense of pride in what you have achieved and the future planning to achieve more.

How do your team sum up the Hall and Woodhouse values?

Hall and Woodhouse believe that every pub and every tenant matters.  The support they offer has been immense and we also try and replicate these values when considering our team. We encourage pride and passion in our own public house and for what we do, working hard and closely with our team.  This enables us and them, to be a complete unit, striving for the very best service and product.

What’s your favourite pub event of the year?

Christmas - the months of preparation, the hard work leading up to and during December.  But also when it actually comes to the Christmas parties, and seeing everyone really enjoying themselves. Christmas Day is great enjoying the festive spirit and special time with guests knowing that they chose to come to you, and are experiencing a fantastic time, makes all the hard work and stress very much worth it.  It is after all an honour to be chosen by these families to host the most special day of the year for them

How is your pub part of the local community? And what kind of people do you have visiting your pub?

Over this last year, we have developed and changed The Sloop, to become a place for the whole community.  A very important aspect of that is somewhere that is safe and friendly and chilled for people to relax and enjoy.

We hold regular Quiz Nights which are always fun, and at the end of the year, we hold a big quiz which both myself and Caroline host.  At Easter, the New Year and during the summer months, we have a children's entertainer, this gives the parents a little rest whilst keeping the children amused.

We work closely with the local nursery and with the Ex Service Men's Club.  We also hold a large yearly raffle for the local children's hospice. Being somewhere where everyone can come and relax and enjoy great food, an awesome pint of Badger Ale, lager or wine is very important to a local community and to us.

What’s good to see and experience in your area after a visit to the pub?

We are very fortunate that we are a 2 minute walk from Poole Park and all that it has to offer.  There is a boating lake, a children's play area and fantastic views.  We are also only a 10 minute drive from the great beaches that Poole and Bournemouth has to offer. 

We are also surrounded by wonderful golf courses, and a 5 minute drive from The Dolphin Shopping Centre and Poole Quay itself, plus the beautiful Studland Nature Reserve, Corfe Castle, Lulworth Castle and the intriguing Tyneham Village.  The list of special places to visit locally is endless.

And lastly, if you were to recommend a perfect combination of Badger Ale and a meal for your guests, what would you recommend? 

First Call from the tap works really well with one of our Sunday Roasts.  Our Sunday Roasts are cooked from fresh on a Sunday, and the malty, orange zesty finish of First Call is a perfect match.

However, during the week I wholeheartedly recommend Hopping Hare paired with our Slow Braised Belly of Pork.  This combination could not be more perfect.  The mustard mash fits really well with the hoppy elements of the Hare, but the carrot puree and red wine sauce blend perfectly with the floral, fruity tones.  A match made in The Sloop!