A COUPLE who moved from Scotland last November to a delightful market town in the heart of Worcestershire to run their first pub are gearing up for the town’s biggest festival – four months in advance.

Danielle Cashmore and Bruce Lawrence took on The Star Inn – a 14th century coaching inn on Bridge Street, Pershore – and have been busy refurbishing some of the bedrooms, building up a rapport with the regulars and producing tempting, fresh, home-made meals.

They previously lived in Aberdeen where Danielle was a tender co-ordinator in the oil and gas industry, while Bruce worked as a chef executive for an onshore and offshore catering company. He is a long-time member of the Federation of Scottish Chefs and has been accepted to join the highly acclaimed Master Chefs of Great Britain.

Danielle said they moved to Worcestershire because she has friends and family in the area and they were waiting for the right pub to come up in the right location.

The Star Inn is owned by Enterprise Inns (Ei Group), which had refurbished the bar and restaurant about a year before the couple arrived.

Danielle said: “The pub was very dated and old fashioned. There was just a bar and function room and the rooms upstairs. It was very dark.”

The inn has six rooms upstairs and the pair have now refurbished four while recently upgrading the garden area which extends down to the River Avon. They plan to give the other two rooms a facelift during the winter months.

She added: “We came to the pub because it is a really good location in a beautiful market town. It is also small enough for us to manage with a small team and as business grows we can grow with it. We have a really good local trade and business has been growing from strength to strength since we moved in.”

She said the local people have given the newcomers a really warm welcome and, in turn, the Star’s new tenants try to give every customer a smile and a nice welcome. “We are definitely glad we made the change to come here and take on our first pub.”

Apart from an inviting, bright and cosy hostelry with lots of character, The Star also has a new menu – courtesy of Bruce. “The dishes are freshly home-made in the kitchen here using quality ingredients,” he said. The pair have been very impressed with the range of locally produced high quality produce available in the area.

Danielle added: “I'm so proud of what we have achieved and with Bruce's skill in the kitchen it means I have complete faith in our food offering.”

And in preparation for the annual Peshore Plum Festival at the end of August, Danielle and Bruce are holding their very own cider festival and garden party at the pub on Bank Holiday Monday May 1 from 12 noon.

“We are putting on a small festival just to say we are here, to launch our refurbished riverside garden and as a trial run for what we could do for the Plum Festival,” said Danielle.