I interviewed Michelle last week, the landlady of The Rose and Crown, Hereford. We had a lovely chat over a cup of excellent coffee!
How long have you been working in the pub trade?
I started working in the pub trade, and for Greene King, in 2008. I began as a barmaid at the Rose & Crown working my way up to assistant manager. After a spell managing the Three Elms I returned to the Rose & Crown as its manager last year.
Michelle pouring a pint for Derek, one of the locals.
The Rose and Crown has been a pub for more years than I can remember. You have recently taken over as landlady, what attracted you to this pub?
I grew up in the area and the Rose & Crown has always been a pub that I use socially, and obviously for work too. It is a very special place to me personally.
As my local, I always find the ambience and friendliness captivating, there is always someone to say hello to. I think that the pub is the centre of the community don't you?
A group of friends playing Crib
The Rose & Crown is very much a locals pub, catering for regulars and new faces. Our brilliant staff and the homely atmosphere make it a great community pub.
I love listening to live music in the pub. Do you have any plans for 2015 to put on more acts throughout the year?
Yes, live music has always been popular with our customers and our calendar for 2015 is already filling up.
Food plays a major part in pubs these days, do you think that there should be more space available for people who just want a drink? I know you have a bar area, but that can sometimes be noisy with darts, pool etc.
Part of the dining area
I think food is important for pubs but they also remain the ideal place to catch up with friends over a drink. The Rose & Crown offers the best of both worlds.
I am a great wine lover and would like to see more variety of wines available. Are Greene King planning to introduce more varieties as wine is so widely sold these days?
We review our range regularly and offer wines from different countries and grapes to reflect our customers' different drinking habits. People usually go for popular wines such as Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, so we offer wines from these grape varieties from a number of different countries. However, tastes are becoming more diverse so we will also offer wines like Tempranillo, Grenache and the increasingly popular Prosecco, as well as others, when we believe consumers are looking for these wines.
Your "card" discounts are very popular and I know that my partner makes use of the discounts when football matches are on. It's a great way to promote trade. Do you have any other ideas for 2015?
The Lounge bar
We are always looking for new ways to interest and delight our customers. We have some great offers on this month such as our regular seniors menu from 12-4pm on weekdays and January sales on food and drink.
What is your chosen charity for 2015?
As well as Macmillan Cancer Support, we also work closely with St Michaels Hospice in Hereford by holding raffles, quizzes and other events like 80s weekends at the pub.
What would you say is your average age group?
I wouldn't say that we cater for any specific age group because our guests range from the very young to OAPs. We would like to think we offer something for everyone.
Finally, I want to start an "End Loneliness Campaign" this year. Loneliness is the scourge of our society and for some the local pub can be the only contact they have with the outside world. The Rose and Crown is certainly a very friendly pub as I said at the beginning of our interview. I do hope you will stay as landlady for a long time and with your friendly staff and welcoming nature, perhaps this pub can be "Hereford"s" pub to go to and be happy for a few hours?
As we are at the heart of the local community, we treat our customers as friends. This applies as much to families coming in for a meal as it does to somebody popping in for a drink or two.
Thank you Michelle for your time, I'm sure we all agree that a visit to The Rose and Crown will be a very happy and enjoyable experience.
The Rose and Crown is part of the Greene King pub chain and I am delighted that a gift card to the value of £30 has been donated for my next raffle. Details will appear on competitions page shortly.