New pub Knife & Cleaver set to be at cutting edge of local food and drink scene

Second Bedfordshire pub for exciting young pub company creates 40 jobs for locals



 Fitzrovia Pub Company and Epic Managers have opened a second site in Bedfordshire creating 40 jobs for local people.



The Knife & Cleaver in Houghton Conquest, is part of the tenanted and leased estate owned by the UK’s largest family brewer, Charles Wells. The pub has had a transformative refurbishment which reflects the best in British design blending the traditional with the contemporary to offer a relaxed, home from home environment.

A warm welcome awaits customers from the Epic Managers team led by successful pub  operator Andrew Coath, who also runs the newly opened Anchor at Aspley Guise, near Milton Keynes and who previously ran venues in Salford, Woburn and Bedford.


Coath says: “We are really excited to have opened the doors to the new Knife &                                                   Cleaver and to have created this eclectic British pub, which offers something for everyone.”

He adds: “The pub will be the heart of the village, but also offer an exciting new eating, drinking and accommodation venue for people in Bedfordshire and beyond.”

The Knife & Cleaver offers nine contemporary bedrooms, including family and dog friendly rooms, which feature Egyptian cotton sheets, flat screen televisions and Elemis toiletries.

Richard Bishop, Director of Tenanted and Leased Pubs at Charles Wells, adds: “We’re pleased that Fitzrovia have seen another fabulous opportunity within our estate. Under the management of Andrew Coath and his Epic team, we know the new look Knife & Cleaver will be just as successful and is a further example of our commitment to invest in our leased and tenanted pubs, and support those who run them.”


Muddy paws and sticky fingers welcome


There is also plenty on offer for younger guests including exciting new wooden play equipment and an excellent kids’ menu featuring garlic and rosemary bread, bangers and mash, 4oz sirloin steak, mushroom and ham pasta carbonara, cod fish fingers and brownie and praline sundae.


Muddy paws are also well catered for at the pub, with dog baskets and bowls available for furry friends.

Best of British food

Customers can expect menus which showcase the best of British produce and blend the     contemporary and classic, with dishes changing regularly so guests will always find something fresh and exciting to tempt their tastebuds.



The menu is overseen by chef director Mark Austin whose experience includes the prestigious Luton Hoo Hotel, with the Knife & Cleaver’s kitchen team also led by talented head chef Simone Scola whose impressive CV includes the Hermit and Redcoats near Hitchin.

Ensuring excellent customer service is front of house manager Susanne McGregor, whose experience includes the award-winning Hermitage Road Bar & Kitchen in Hertfordshire.


Dishes to dine for all-day

A delicious all-day food menu is available from 12 noon to 6pm in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, with dishes including The Butchers sharing board; baked whole camembert with maple roasted figs, garden thyme, and sourdough soldiers; Iron Bark pumpkin soup with almond choux buns and sour cream; classic beef burger with True Grit Cheddar and smoked ketchup and red cabbage slaw; confit wild rabbit with black pudding croquettes, cured celeriac and pickled shallots and chickpea and feta burger with romesco relish and red cabbage slaw.


The Knife & Cleaver is the ideal spot to start the day, with tasty breakfast dishes including banana and raspberry porridge with maple syrup and pumpkin seeds; Woburn Black back bacon bap with house brown sauce, the faithful Full English with a choice of eggs or vegetarian full English; eggs Benedict and eggs forestiere.

Lunch options are just as enticing and include sandwiches of chargrilled fillet steak, horseradish and crispy onions and oak smoked salmon, cucumber and dill yoghurt served with chips, soup or seasonal salad. Starters include Devon crab cocktail and duck liver parfait and delicious mains offer slow-cooked pork belly and tenderloin; curried monkfish loin, pan-fried Cornish cod; confit lamb shoulder to share.


For dinner, starters include pan haggerty and Hendrick’s gin cured sea trout and mains feature leek and spinach barley risotto, cornfed chicken supreme, roast duck breast and cottage pie, 8oz dry-aged sirloin steak with and salads including Heritage beetroot whipped goat’s cheese, candied walnuts and grapefruit dressing.

Desserts are just as tempting and include raspberry panna cotta; glazed lemon tart, milk chocolate brownie, sticky toffee pudding and iced coffee parfait or a selection of fine British cheeses from the Knife & Cleaver cheese trolley partnered with a fine port.


Tempting events throughout the week

Exciting weekly food and drink events offer customers plenty of reasons not to wait until the weekend to socialise and include a Meat & Cleaver Thursday steak night.

The Knife & Cleaver is also running regular ‘Social Sensations’ events, with each night focusing on the best of British seasonal food, such as the forthcoming Game Night on 10 November.

The pub is also the ideal place to catch up with friends over a coffee made by the barista trained bar team and it will be hard to resist the daily-changing cake offer which would make Mary Berry proud.


Sundays are special

The Knife & Cleaver is the home of the family roast with all its fine traditions celebrated, and there is no need for customers to rush out of bed as Sunday lunch is served from 12 noon to 9pm.

The pub’s excellent roasts include dry-aged rump of beef, pulled leg of Cornish lamb,

Dingley Dell pork loin, and the Knife & Cleaver nut roast, all served with roast potatoes, light and fluffy Yorkshire puddings, seasonal vegetables and gravy. Desserts include a comforting crumble with lashings of custard.


For those not wanting the full works, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and gravy are available for customers to enjoy while having a drink at the bar or customers can treat themselves to a tasty lamb or beef Sunday roast burrito with mustard cream.


Quality drinks

Whatever their tipple, customers will find something to wet their whistle at the Knife & Cleaver.


There is nothing more British than supping a quality, well-cared for pint of fine ale in a cosy pub and the Knife & Cleaver has an excellent selection of real ales including Bombardier, Eagle IPA and Young’s Gold from the local Charles Wells Brewery.

There is also a small but carefully chosen wine list and cocktails that change frequently to match the season with current favourites being crafted by the Knife & Cleaver’s expert bar team including the Forest Fusion Martini, Toffee Apple, Haig Club Spritz, Scotch Old Fashioned, Espresso Martini, and Pisco Sour.

Bloody Mary fans are in for a treat with the exciting range of Epic Marys, which offers the Classic Mary, Asian Mary and Smoked Mary.

For those that want warming up on a chilly day, the winter drinks collection includes Luxe Hot Chocolate, hot toddies, mulled cider and winter Pimms.

Drivers are also in for a treat with the creative list of non-alcoholic drinks on offer which include the Apple Julip, Blackberry Flower and Ginger Ninja.

Celebrate in style

The pub also offers a 16 seat private dining space, which provides an intimate environment for those special family occasions or business meetings.

Tis the place to be jolly

For those looking for a special place for Christmas celebrations with family, friends or colleagues, the Knife & Cleaver is the ideal place for a festive gathering with a range of exciting Christmas menus and events on offer from the 26th November, including a Merry Delights Christmas buffet for small groups and a Boxing Day and New Year’s Day brunch menu.

General manager Susanne McGregor says: “We are really proud of the Knife & Cleaver’s refurbishment and the delicious food and drink on offer and look forward to welcoming local people to see this amazing pub for themselves very soon.”

The Knife & Cleaver, The Grove, Houghton Conquest, Bedford, MK45 3LA 01234 930 789

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