The Queens Head

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posted Fri 1st Oct 2017 at 14:35

Hold the Front Page



Hold the front page – Our Hotel Plan Update

Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street.
Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.

We’ve had an incredible response to the front-page article in the August issue of My Pinner News.
I’ve lost count of the number of people who have kindly contacted me saying they support our plan to turn the disused first floor of the pub into a 5-bedroom boutique hotel.
A petition has been created and we’ve already had more than 200 people sign it.
I’ve even had people enquiring about rooms and jobs – supporting our point that there is a need for accommodation in Pinner and it will certainly bring jobs.
The plan to bring boutique accommodation to the village was challenged by a local historian and the Pinner Association.
We employed an archaeologist and historical consultant to come in and look at the pub and he created a comprehensive report which states he believes our plans are sympathetic and in keeping with the pub’s rich history.  He also identified the ‘historic staircase’ as being 20th century, unlike the local historian who identified it as 16th century??
I’ve also written an open letter to the Pinner Association’s officers and committee outlining my concerns that they are not in touch with local feeling and do not reflect the diversity of Pinner’s changing community, and that they should stand down with immediate effect.
I think a new way is needed when it comes to keeping Pinner the wonderful village that it is but at the same time looking to the future and how we can improve the area.
I’ve taken this open letter approach as I was disappointed that no one from the Association came to see me to discuss their concerns before they objected to it. I would have been more than happy to show them, or indeed anyone, our proposals.
If you haven’t seen the My Pinner News article please follow this link below.

http://www.mynewsmag.co.uk/magazine/mypinner/

There’s a meeting of Harrow Council on September 7 where a decision will be made on our plan.  If you would like to support our application, please feel free to email Councillor Keith Ferry, the chair of the planning committee at Harrow Council.  Keith.ferry@harrow.gov.uk
Thanks for reading and thank you for your support.

Sean
 

posted Sun 6th Oct 2017 at 15:59

Pinner (We don't want new jobs) Association



Our Hotel Plan Blocked – For Now
Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street.

Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.
We received some bad news earlier this week.
Let me rephrase that, Pinner received some potentially bad news.
As some of you know we submitted detailed plans last month for our proposal to turn the unused floor (aside from storing old boxes) above the pub into five boutique style hotel rooms.
Harrow Council informed us this week the plan is to be rejected by its planning department.
From my understanding, this is mainly down to two objections.
Firstly, from a local historian. And secondly from the Pinner Association.
The objections were from people who were offered the opportunity to pop into the pub so I could show them around upstairs and share the plan with them.
To be honest I’m really disappointed. We put a lot time, money and effort into creating a plan which was in keeping with the pub’s rich history, we were going to name suites after famous local people including Heath Robinson among distinguished others.
We employed a heritage consultant who provided us with a detailed 49-page report on the best ways to convert the disused floor and retain its historical importance and relevance.
But most disappointingly if the proposal to reject the plan is approved by Harrow Council there will be four new jobs, which the hotel would’ve created, lost forever.
There will be less visitors staying in the village and spending money in the local community.
And there will be absolutely nowhere for people who want to visit friends and family to stay in the village.
The original plan came about because daily we get calls asking if we offer accommodation. Often from people visiting their families or attending local weddings, celebrations and anniversaries.
At a time when local businesses are closing (the long-established Pinner Tandoori closed its doors recently) and the village centre seeing more and more empty shops we were trying to invest money to bring more people to Pinner. Which would have benefits for everyone.
But hope springs eternal and following some debate and calls the plan will now be forward to a full council meeting on September 7th where councillors will decide.
I’ll keep you all updated and we have a petition available in the pub to sign if you want to support our efforts to open a much needed 5-room boutique hotel in the heart of Pinner.

Thanks for reading,
Sean 
 

posted Tue 20th Oct 2017 at 17:26

Pinner Pride



It’s Time for Pride in Pinner

Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street.
Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.

The past three months has seen so much bad news.
Terrorism, political instability and the tragic, but wholly avoidable Grenfell Tower tragedy.
But it’s at testing times, traumatic times, that the people of the UK unite behind our common values of tolerance, generosity and decency.
And it’s with all those values in mind that I’m delighted that the Queen’s Head is hosting a Pinner Pride event to celebrate our LGBT community.
From Saturday 24th June to July 9th we’ll be hosting a series of events to mark Gay pride.
We’ll be proudly flying the Rainbow flag above the pub during this time.
I’m a huge believer in equality and take pride in our pub being a place for ALL the community regardless of faith, gender, sexuality or race, to come and do the most human of things – chat and enjoy each other’s company.
It’s by meeting up, talking together, sharing opinions and insights that we learn about what makes us different but also, and crucially important at this time in our history, what we have in common.
We will be hosting a Gin Festival during our Pinner Pride celebrations featuring 30 gins from around the world – including Ireland’s handcrafted Dingle Gin.
I was also glad that several readers of the blog noticed I was in the tiny minority of people who predicted a hung parliament before the General Election.
I think that we’ll be heading to the polls again around October as I can’t see how the Conservative DUP alliance can stick. You heard it here first folks.
We look forward to seeing you at the Queen’s Head to celebrate all what’s good (and there is plenty of it) in our community.

Thanks for reading,

Sean 
 

posted Tue 13th Oct 2017 at 19:31

Father's Day 2017



Father’s Day – It’s About Time

Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street. Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.

Sunday June 18 is Father’s Day.

And far from a cynical marketing scheme devised to pull more money out of people’s pockets I actually think it’s a great idea.
It’s not about spending loads on lavish gifts or meals.
As a father and grandfather the best present I can receive on the day is to simply spend time with my family.
My own dad taught me something very early on in my life.
He hailed from County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland and came over here to make a better life for himself and his family.
Running a pub is in my blood as my dad ran the Fox Inn in Twickenham when I was a young boy.
He treated his staff very well. Always courteous, a turkey for each of them at Christmas and wages paid on time every time (which wasn’t the norm for bar workers in those days).
And I’ll never forget something he said to me: “Always respect your staff son. They sell you the most precious thing in the World – their time.”
And the old fella was right. I see many parents in today’s World working all the hours that God sends.
A constant treadmill of being busy, focussed on earning as much as they can as quick as they can but all the time many of them are missing out magical family moments which they’ll never get back.
Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day or indeed any day set aside to spend quality time with your loved ones is for me, the best investment you can ever make.
At The Queen’s Head we will be having a special offer on Father’s Day to prove you don’t need to spend big money to have a great time.
We’re offering a delicious Hilton's Burger, salad and pint of Fosters or Carlsberg for just £10.
Children are very welcome, there will be live music from Jason Hakin and our lovely garden area will be bathed (hopefully) in sunshine.
So why not pop down, bring the kids, bring your dad and spend quality time together. It’s the most precious gift you can share.
Thanks for reading,
Sean 
 

posted Fri 2nd Oct 2017 at 16:09

Election Day 8th June 2017



My Bold Election Predictions

Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street. Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.

The election pollsters have a reputation for being unable to organise a pi……, ahem, drink up at a brewery.
They’ve called it wrong three times running. The 2015 election, Brexit and Trump all caught the pollsters with their proverbial pants down.
So, I’ve been conducting an informal poll of my own with the good folk who frequent The Queen’s Head. And here are the surprise results.
I predict we’re heading for a hung parliament and we’ll have to do it all over again in a few months’ time.
The people I’ve been speaking with, especially young people, are fed up with the way things are, and that’s why I think Labour will do a lot better than originally expected.
Theresa May deciding not to turn up for the BBC TV debate sent out the wrong message. Is she complacent? Is she taking voters for granted?
We will find out what the public thinks on June 8.
Even though I’m a traditional Labour voter I still think our constituency MP Nick Hurd does a very good job.
I’m sure his seat is safe but a lot of his colleagues in blue up and down the country will be watching the results come in rather more nervously than they might have thought they would have been two or three weeks ago.
With Brexit still a burning issue on the political agenda I’ll make another prediction. A hard Brexit would be catastrophic for the hospitality and leisure industry.
Prices will rise, of that much I’m certain. I work in this sector and know how important migrant workers are to it.
But my main political point in this blog isn’t who is right or who is wrong, or where you should be voting – it’s if you have the right to vote use it.
We’ve many young people working here at the pub and I’ve been encouraging them that regardless of which political party they support they should get out and use their democratic right to have their say.
People have fought, and died, over the years to ensure we all have that right and it’s something we should never, ever take lightly in my opinion.
We are open until midnight on Election Day and within walking distance of all the local polling stations so why not pop in for a drink and a chat – after casting your vote.
Thanks for reading,
Sean 
 

posted Tue 9th Oct 2017 at 19:18

Let's Hear it For Archie



Let’s Make Archie’s Dream a Reality
 
Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street. Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.

 
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
Those wise words came from a man who takes ever present pride of place in The Queen’s Head while he watches over our guests.
Sir Winston Churchill summed up the spirit of giving with that quote and his portrait sits in our bar and has done for decades.
Tomorrow, Wednesday 10 May, we’re following that giving spirit and holding a charity event to raise money for a young boy called Archie.
He suffers from Cerebral Palsy and needs an operation which will greatly improve his mobility and enhance his quality of life.
However, the treatment is not available on the NHS and costs £50,000. His parents have done a great job raising £32,000 already.
We’ll be doing our bit by holding the event which will feature a delicious curry banquet provided by Mila and her team from Visage, our neighbours on the High Street.
The delights on the night include Chicken Korma, Chicken Curry, Goan Fish Curry, Lamb Curry and Vegetable Aloo.
There is also a fantastic range of starters and accompaniments all for just £6 a head.
A massive thanks to Mila and her team and the fine folk at Hiltons Butchers on Bridge Street who provided the meat for what promises to be a fantastic event raising money for a very worthy cause.
We look forward to seeing you all.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Sean
 

posted Sat 11th Oct 2017 at 22:24

When Everyone is Irish for the Day



When Everyone’s Irish for a Day

Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street. Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.

As a proud son of Irish immigrants to this country I’ve grown up with the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
It’s in my blood- literally.
It’s a day to have fun, be around friends and celebrate the best the Emerald Isle has to offer.
One of my favourite things about St Pat’s Day (this year on Friday 17 March) is that for 24 hours everyone has the chance to become Irish regardless of where they’re from.
I know an Asian gentleman who celebrates the day just as enthusiastically as me or anyone else in my clan.
It’s not just about marketing and using the green, white and gold, to sell more of the black stuff.
It’s a day which says a lot about Irish people’s nature. Inclusive, down to earth, mischievous and with a love of life and having a great craic!
In a world increasingly divided it’s great to have a focal point for people of ALL nationalities, sexualities and political peculiarities to come together and enjoy themselves.
And at The Queen’s Head we’ve decided that times like these need to last a little longer.
So we’re having a St Patrick’s Day Weekend.
On Friday 17th we’ll kick off with free Irish stew washed down with pints of Guinness and Fosters at just £3.
We’ve also got  Jameson’s Irish whisky on offer for £3, an option to turn your Carlsberg (or Fosters) green in honour of St Pat and we’ll be having Jason Hakin in playing live music.
In true Gaelic fashion the party carries on the next day with a lot more of the above.
Over the weekend we will also be unveiling our Queen’s Head Top Secret Irish Cocktail.
So head on over to see us whether you hail from Cork or Calcutta, Galway or Ghana, Dubrovnik or Dublin! Everyone’s welcome.

Slainte,
Sean 
 

posted Fri 27th Oct 2017 at 14:58

Love is in the air



Welcome to the Behind the Bar blog. My name is Sean White and I’m the landlord of The Queen’s Head in Pinner’s historic High Street. Along with my team I share the goings on at our busy pub which has sat proudly at the centre of the community since 1540.
Love is in the Air – for a While
My apologies for the recent gap in my blogs.
It’s been hectic as usual and I’m writing this after our Burns’ Night special which was a fantastic success.
Seeing local councillor, and proud Scotsman, Norman Stevenson, dramatically addressing a Haggis is something which will live long in my memory.
One of the things I really love about running a pub is you get to see people enjoying themselves.
Food, drink and good company – it’s a recipe for a great time when money, health, financial and other worries are suspended for a while.
The Queen’s Head is a love factory. There it is. I said it and I’ll stick to it and explain why.
With so much anger, anxiety and hate in the world right now it’s worth thinking about the things we love.
I’m blessed that I have a loving family, a job I adore and close friends.
I also feel very lucky to have a team of staff who are great to work with and feel like an extension of my family.
It’s always my goal to make sure that my staff are looked after well. That’s why I pay way above the minimum wage, invest in their training, going out for team dinners and making sure they all get free taxis home when they finish a night shift.
We’ve also introduced a great project called PerkBox which is a website for hospitality workers packed with discounts and freebies. The staff love it.
It seems only right to continue this love theme by telling you about what we have planned for the  Valentine’s period.
I think the world needs more love right now so we’re hosting our Five Days of Valentine’s Day event.
From Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th of February we’re giving lovers a bigger window to show their devotion at The Queen’s Head.
We’ll be running a special offer of two delicious Barrel & Stone artisan pizzas, a bottle of prosecco and two fresh ice creams – all for just £35, a saving of £12.
If that isn’t enough to get your heart racing then I don’t know what will.
So till next time keep loving, laughing and enjoying life.
Thanks for reading and pop in and see us soon.
Sean
 

posted Fri 11th Oct 2016 at 18:06

Trump, Taxes and Turning the Tables



Trump, Taxes and Turning the Tables

Like most of the UK I was stunned by Donald Trump storming to the US presidency.
Like many I have been left in disbelief, feeling deflated and very concerned by his success and what it means for all of our futures.
But I can understand how he rose to the most powerful job in the world.
Millions of Americans feel left behind. Their jobs have been sent overseas through corporate greed and government weaknesses. He promised them he’d fix it.
Corporate greed is something that needs to be tackled but is a billionaire who boasts about tax avoidance really the man to do it?
Taxes are a sore point for me this week.
I’ve just been told by Harrow Council that my rates will be rising by £6000 a year.
Add that to a proposed ten per cent rise and the increased cost of pretty much everything we buy. And that’s not mentioning the tremendous rate of tax on alcohol sales.
But what really got me annoyed was when Harrow Council told me that the 5 chairs outside of the pub which have adjoining tables will cost me £2300 a year if I want to leave them there, despite the fact they are on my land.
The council also wants to charge any local business £50 a year to have A boards out on the street (along with a £42 administration fee!) Dress it up as you like but I see this as extra taxation hidden under a cloak of red tape.
That £50 is nothing to Starbucks, Cafe Rouge or Carluccio’s but to the small businesses on the High Street it’s a shift for an employee, money out of the training pot or taken away from already shrinking income.
The council’s logic on rates is baffling. Do they want small business out of the High Street and surrounding areas?
As a business we try to do the right things – we pay our staff above the minimum wage, take their development and training seriously and in terms of the community we provide a safe, warm and sociable place for people to meet.
But if the council’s number crunchers had their way we’d be taxed out of existence and many other local businesses fighting for survival would to.
And for the sake of everyone in the community we can’t allow that to happen.
Thanks for reading
Sean 
 

posted Thu 22nd Oct 2016 at 19:11

The Queen's Head in 2036 and Nigel Farage Dropping in.



The Queen’s Head in 2036 and Nigel Farage Dropping in.

I jumped into my time machine this week and tapped in the year 2036 – destination The Queen’s Head.
In all seriousness I was asked about what I thought the future of pubs would look like in twenty years time.
I really got me thinking and here are my thoughts on the subject.
Pubs will need to innovate and evolve or the list of 20 pubs a week shutting for good will grow and grow to the point of extinction.
The successful pubs of the future will need to have a very good food offering. They’ll need to have interiors that match the current style or pitch themselves as traditional, heritage rich pubs.
But the really big thing I think you’ll see with pubs that thrive in the future is the availability of accommodation. Rooms above pubs will be needed to bring in a revenue stream, alongside that of food, and of course drink.
It’s almost as if we’ve gone full circle from ye days of olde when all pubs / inns had rooms for hire.
Obviously the future can’t be predicted with 100 per cent certainty that really would require a time machine or crystal ball. But I know one thing for sure is that most pubs will have to work harder and offer more variety and innovate more than they currently do.
That’s why we’ve introduced Fresh Pizzas to our bar menu. Today (Thursday 22 September) sees us launch our partnership with Barrel and Stone who make the finest artisan pizzas you’ll find this side of Turin!
We’ll be handing out free samples from the range and with 8 varieties, including gluten free, vegetarian and create your own there’s something on offer for everyone. And with a ten minute turnaround they are fast but very high quality food.
Innovation was also the reason we originally joined forces with local deli Carpentier & Co and our street food evenings on Thursdays and Fridays continue to prove really popular.
This week you’re in for some TexMex magic and over the next few weeks there’s plenty more great food coming our way.
So you’re probably asking why Nigel Farage was mentioned in the headline of this blog.
I make no secret that I can’t stand the man but when the BBC approached me about filming some scenes for a comedy mockumentary about him using the pub as a location I couldn’t turn it down.
The pub will be closed on the 4/5th October when filming takes place. We’ll be opening our doors on both days at 7.30pm so the evening trade will be unaffected.
Also just a reminder that our second gin festival be – gins (see what I did there?) on October 1st.

Thanks for reading,
Sean ‘Captain Kirk’ White
 


August 2016

Win Win Win (24/08/2016 19:30:30)

July 2016

Post Brexit Pinner & Street Food (19/07/2016 19:29:32)

June 2016

Time to get smart (02/06/2016 15:19:35)

April 2016

Brexit (08/04/2016 18:22:18)

March 2016

Gin is IN (24/03/2016 18:09:18)

When Irish Eyes are smiling - Gaelic version (10/03/2016 18:48:52)

When Irish Eyes are smiling (10/03/2016 18:39:11)

February 2016

Appy hour(s) with Orderella (25/02/2016 18:21:25)

Love is in the air (10/02/2016 12:01:57)

January 2016

Greene King Beer Festival 2016 (28/01/2016 14:48:03)

Try January - Greene King exclusive Beer Festival (14/01/2016 18:46:37)

December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015 (18/12/2015 17:14:31)

October 2015

Fusing Technology with Tradition (01/10/2015 13:52:27)

August 2015

Education, Education ! Education ? (26/08/2015 19:53:27)

How close the UK came to banning booze (05/08/2015 14:54:32)

July 2015

Inspiration from Court 4 (15/07/2015 18:48:30)

The Demon Drink (06/07/2015 15:48:09)

Ghostly goings on (06/07/2015 15:47:05)

Psychic Sean predicts the future (06/07/2015 15:45:44)

The Queen's Head Manifesto (06/07/2015 15:44:24)

Reasons to be cheerful - Part 2 (06/07/2015 15:43:10)

Reasons to be cheerful (06/07/2015 15:41:54)

Welcome to the world of little Edward (06/07/2015 15:40:47)

Drinking and health (06/07/2015 15:39:05)

Christmas is coming and we can't wait (06/07/2015 15:37:48)

Calling time on poor pubs (06/07/2015 15:36:33)

Blogs, Dogs & Kids in Pubs (06/07/2015 15:35:12)

Use it or lose it (06/07/2015 15:33:11)

 

 
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