Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 107

FOOD & DRINK Pointer Inn wins dining pub of the year They leapt up with joy, and tables and chairs went flying as the announcement was made. The Island Life Dining Pub of the Year is the Pointer Inn, Newchurch. “We’re humble people, we don’t expect things like that to happen,” says Nathan Clark, who owns the pub with his chef father Paul. “When dad and I started this business it was just going to be a little business for me and him to run. Now over five years, it’s got bigger and bigger – we’re ecstatic!” It was a particular thrill because they won the same award last year. But in 2007 it was by the people’s vote – their customers – and this year it was the AA who judged the award. “It’s hard to say which means more to us. In fact they are equally important to us,” says Nathan. “Knowing our customers appreciate us is brilliant – and getting the AA’s endorsement is fantastic.” The key to maintaining the support of their customers, he says, is consistency. “We change our menu each quarter, but leave the old favourites on. If you haven’t visited the Pointer Inn for a year you can come back and order the same dish, and will get the same attention to detail, the same delicious food and the same presentation.” Neither does he stint on size. “I like to send people home satisfied,” says Paul. “I don’t like to think of anyone going away hungry.” Nathan puts the success of their food down to his father’s experience. Paul has lived on the Island for 27 years, working for the huge dining room and banqueting suite of the Westbridge leisure centre. He then went on to work for P&O Ferries, in their prestigious Langham’s restaurant. “He’s been a chef for life Left to right: Warren Turvey of Red Funnel presenting Paul Clark, James Bryce and Nathan Clark from Pointer Inn 43 years. He should know how best to cook and present dishes,” Nathan quips. The second chef, James Bryce, works closely with Paul so the quality is the same whoever has cooked you