Lying at the heart of the sleepy Cambridgeshire village of Abbots Ripton, but less than 10 minutes from the A1, A14 and the market town of Huntingdon, The Abbot’s Elm is a traditional thatched English country inn & restaurant with rooms. Partially destroyed by fire in 2010 the Grade two listed Inn was lovingly rebuilt and restored to its former glory by Lord & Lady de Ramsey of the local de Ramsey Estate before being reopened in 2012 by long standing restaurateurs John and Julia Abbey.
In the few short years since its reopening the Inn has been recognized by Michelin in both their restaurant & pub guides; by the Good Food Guide; Sawdays pub guide; Hardens restaurant guide; the AA with a ‘highly recommended’ 4 stars in their pub guide and with two rosettes in their restaurant guide; and in 2016 was awarded “Best restaurant in Cambridgeshire” by the Michelin-owned Bookatable.
Diners have the choice of an informal bar area with its interconnecting rooms and original 17th century brick fireplace or the slightly more formal 45-seat restaurant. In the summer meals can be taken al fresco in amongst the plethora of herbs in our walled garden terrace whilst drinks and bar snacks can be enjoyed in the main pub garden. For those wishing to stay we offer a choice of four luxuriously appointed en-suite double bedrooms – all of which offer sky tv, free wifi, tea & coffee making facilities and, of course, fluffy towels & dressing gowns. Well-behaved dogs (and their owners) are welcomed in all our bedrooms and public areas.
Chef/Proprietor Julia Abbey brings a genuine passion for fresh, seasonal, and - where possible - local produce to her kitchen and dining rooms. Whilst, of course, not admitting to her age, her several decades spent behind the stoves have included 15 years in New Zealand firstly as executive chef at the Southern Cross hotel in Dunedin and then as chef/patron of ‘Flutes’ restaurant in Mount Eden before returning to England and spending 16 years as Chef Director of Sir John Madejski’s renowned Thames side eaterie ‘The Leatherne Bottel’
From the daily selection of half a dozen breads through to the extensive choice of ice creams and sorbets everything served at the Abbot’s Elm is crafted in our kitchen by Julia and her small brigade. The menu changes daily but samples can be viewed here….
The heart of any decent English pub should be its bar. And ours most certainly is, offering as it does a selection of local real ales as well as more traditional draught beers and continental lagers, including the pride of our beer offering, imported exclusively by us, ‘Bierre Madam’ – the first ever beer brewed in Chablis and winner of ‘best French beer’. At the 2017 World beer awards.
Of the sixty or so wines on offer over 30 are available by the glass or carafe. Our 5 house wines are bottled for us exclusively by Lamblin et Fils in Chablis whilst many other wines – including our superb range of Champagnes - are shipped directly from the vineyards.
Much of our potatoes, vegetables and meat – and particularly our game – come from either the de Ramsey estate or from its tenant farmers. To name just a few suppliers our superb dry-aged beef comes from Aubrey Allen; free-range eggs from local producer Alpha Farms; seasonal asparagus from Whitegates Farm in the Fens and hand-picked crab from Portland Shellfish in Dorset. All our produce is sustainable and has full traceability.
Specialist herbs and salad leaves are grown in our extensive herb garden or our polytunnel and greenhouse whilst much of the seasonal fruit for our chutneys & deserts comes from our own small orchard.
Most have been with us since we opened. Three have left to start families and returned either full or part time. Several are now at university and return during their holidays. They come from diverse backgrounds and have widely varying ambitions. But they all have one thing in common. They SMILE. It is part of our fundamental philosophy that you - our customers - come to us not just to eat, drink or have a bed for the night, but to enjoy yourselves. And it is our belief that smiling, happy, knowledgeable staff go a long way towards creating an enjoyable experience. When you walk through our doors you will be greeted by a smile and a friendly hello. As long as you are here you will be looked after with the same cheerful professionalism and you will depart with an equally cheerful ‘thank you and goodbye’ ringing in your ears.