After almost 15 years at the heart of central London’s hospitality high life, Philippe Laché has swapped it all for a Kentish pub.
Philippe took over the running of Shepherd Neame’s Market House in Earl Street, Maidstone, after moving to Kent from London following the end of last year’s Covid lockdown.
French-born Philippe began work in the capital after moving to the UK in 2007, working his way up within the hospitality industry, from pot washer to award-winning General Manager.
He joined Faversham-based brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame from the Inception Group, where he had launched two Bunga Bunga branches before moving to their Mr Fogg’s brand at Mr Fogg’s Tavern and Gin Parlour in 2018; picking up the award for General Manager of the Year in 2018, and being responsible for a turnover of £4.2 million at Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair.
But despite this success, he still had aspirations to run a traditional English pub. Philippe, 36, said: “I have lots of experience within the hospitality industry, but what I hadn’t tried was running a pub. I wanted to experience what it was like to run a traditional English pub.
“The experience of the Covid lockdown made me realise you can manage a business, but for me there is nothing better than having someone there at the bar for you, seeing a smile and feeling there is someone there for you – hospitality is all about meeting people,” he said. “And what better place to do that than the Market House?”
The historic pub, which recently underwent a major refurbishment, is located in the heart of the County Town opposite the Hazlitt Theatre and next to Fremlin Walk shopping precinct. Its roof top terrace and al-fresco seating area are perfect for relaxing and watching the world go by. Renowned for its live music, it also boasts a delicious food menu perfect for any occasion, ranging from open sandwiches and small plates to traditional pub classics.
Philippe and wife Eva have relocated to the town, where they can also enjoy motorbike rides into the country, as Philippe has recently gained his motorcycle license.
“The Market House looks beautiful,” he said. “It is a proper pub. It has good food and good drink. With the live music, I do still have the rush and the excitement. So here is the perfect balance – and five minutes out of Maidstone and I am in the countryside. I have the buzz and the team is great.”
The venue hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights from 9.30pm and acoustic sets from 5.30pm on Sundays. It will also be one of the venues hosting bands for the upcoming Maidstone Fringe Festival, which runs from Thursday, April 28 to Bank Holiday Monday, May 2.
Find the Market House at 30 Earl Street, Maidstone, ME14 1PS, telephone 01622 751286. It is open from noon daily, and open until 11pm every day except Friday and Saturday, when it is open until 2am. For more details go to www.markethouse.pub
For information about running a pub with Shepherd Neame visit www.shepherdneame.co.uk/careers
About Shepherd Neame
Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.
Press release from Shepherd Neame