The owners of a newly-opened fine dining restaurant in Whitchurch High Street are looking forward to bringing their high-end cuisine know-how to the town.
Stuart and Frances Collins opened Docket No.33 last week, and bring a wealth of experience to Whitchurch, following spells working in New York, for Gordon Ramsay, and Qatar, as well as Michael Caines’ Abode chain in the UK.
Stuart, 33, has worked in many Michelin starred kitchens while Frances, 31, has been front of house for both Abode and the Four Seasons Hotel.
But the newly-married couple believe they have made the right choice coming to Whitchurch and are looking forward to the challenge.
“We chose Whitchurch partly because it was in the middle of both our parents in Staffordshire and north Wales,” said Francis.
“We were in Qatar – we’re living in Whitchurch and we love the place. We like the feel of it and because it’s a market town, it’s quite bustling.
“People are using the shops and there’s a lovely feel about it. Where we’re from, it doesn’t have that feel that Whitchurch does.
“It’s nice to see the High Street at the heart of what people do and it’s why we chose a place like this rather than a city because we’re starting what is essentially a family business.
“I work in the front and Stuart is in the kitchen. We want to make it feel like we’re welcoming people into our home and this has that feel.
“We knew of the area and the surrounding villages/towns too. We had a good chat with people from the town and other people gave us a good insight.
“The deciding factor was seeing other new, good shops around us and you can see there’s a rejuvenation and we did our research about the new housing too.”
The pair insist there is room for Docket No.33 and its ‘Modern British’ food in the High Street, with plenty of options for eating already in Whitchurch.
And Stuart believes that the menu, which will be refreshed often, will entice customers to pay that little more for quality and hopes they will travel far and wide to sample it.
“We’re concentrating on the quality and obviously with our experience in the kitchen, we think people will travel to come and eat here,” said Stuart.
“We’re not coming here trying to compete with the options that Whitchurch already has.
“Jo from Etzio has been amazing – in New York, there was a community and friendship among chefs from Michelin three star restaurants all the way down the burger joints.
“As long as business was going well, it was about building the food scene in the city and while that’s on a much larger scale, we want the same here.
“We’re not here to upset anyone. We want to be part of the community and we invited lots to our reception to meet them.
“We want to enjoy it here.”
For more about the restaurant, head to Facebook and search Docket No.33 or call 01948 665553.