Hereward Wakes – Ely’s New Pub Opens

Image: The Hereward Pub

Tonight sees the grand opening of Ely’s newest public house ‘The Hereward’ located in Market Street and owned by the Barracuda Group.

£600,000 was invested in transforming the former Cutlacks hardware store into an upmarket, authentic pub offering an award-winning menu complemented by an extensive range of beers and wines.

The pubs names was chosen after the ‘Ely Standard’ ran a competiton to name the pub. The winners, Margaret Duffield, of Wardy Hill, Mrs K Salmon, of Ely, and Mrs Anne Newman, of Stretham will be treated to the VIP night that precedes the grand opening. They named the pub after Fenland’s most famous hero, Hereward the Wake.

Image: The Hereward Pub

The Hereward will be run by Tony Love and his partner Tanya Parratt. With 27 years experience in the victualers industry Tony believes that ‘The Hereward’ will bring a much needed boost to Market Street, a part of Ely that is often overlooked by visitors. Our photograph shows Tony (right) with Barracuda trainee Tom O’ Reilly.

The Hereward’s exterior belies just how spacious the interior is, with its warm relaxed atmosphere you can see a lot of time has been given to the layout of this pub.

Image: The Hereward Pub

On entering via the Market Street entrance (there is also entry at Chequers Square) you can see the main dining area on the left, just past the bar is the dining area for non-smokers.

Food is served between 12.00 mid-day through to 9pm and the menu is extensive and well-priced. There are dishes for the health conscience containing less than 5% fat and meals suitable for vegatarians.

It should be noted that this pub does not allow under 18s access, even for meals!

The bar is non-smoking although bar height tables near the main dining area allow for smoking.

Opening Night Update

By all accounts opening night at ‘The Hereward’ was a resounding success.

The management couple from the Hereward, Tony Love and Tanya Parratt were thrilled at the welcome they received at the opening night.

Image: The Hereward Pub

Tony said; “ The opening night was just brilliant, we had a fantastic crowd and we’ve had lots of people coming into the pub to wish us well and have a look at Ely’s latest edition and feedback from the customers was great. Tanya, myself and the team at the Hereward very much look forward to becoming a valued part of Ely’s community.�?

Full size images can be viewed here

Hereward Information

  • Opening Times
  • Mon – Sat: 11am – 11pm
  • Sun: 12 mid-day – 10.30pm
  • Food Served
  • Mon – Sun: 12 mid-day though 9pm
  • No Under 18s

The Hereward pub can be contacted on 01353 772050.

53 replies
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  1. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Having just moved here from north london i was dissapointed by the pub scene in ely until i came across the hereward, fab music, food and the service was pretty good to…my only complaint is they only do karaoke on a sunday.
    Im all for over 18’s only to, who wants kids and teens running about all over the place…get enough of that at home.

  2. Milly Brownrigg
    Milly Brownrigg says:

    I’m not sure if any other locals are readers here but after posting my response to you, the pub came up in conversation. The main complaint being the waiting times (I was served fairly fast myself) swiftly followed by the quality of the food. None of those who had been there had bothered going back. One bloke said he’d have been better off going to the chippy. It’s a shame when you look at it, the place has great potential but there’s barely been a good customer experience from anyone I know. I’ve heard the kitchen is more like kitchenette than a restaurant kitchen though, that must be tough to work in and keep a decent turn around at busy times. They are supposed to be delivering restaurant quality food at bar food prices according to hearsay.

  3. John R
    John R says:


    That’s interesting re the Clwydian in Presatyn. Being a local we tried a lunchtime meal. The food was not properly cooked and was ‘tepid’ and ‘undercooked’. Certainly not value for money and poor compared to other pubs in the locality.

    Some friend waited about 50 minutes for their meal one evening. I also hear that in the evenings the place gets packed with drinkers and it is hard to get through to the bar to order.

    On the plus side at lunchtimes we have found the staff to be very friendly and pleasant.

    What do other think?

  4. Milly Brownrigg
    Milly Brownrigg says:

    In response to John R :

    The new pub has been opened in Prestatyn and is named The Clywydian.
    In short, their main female manager is a very angry lady who barks at both customers as well as her staff. I heard her telling a customer off for asking if there was somewhere he could hang his coat and she barked back saying “she wasn’t a f*cking coat hanger!” Perhaps she was suffering a spot of PMT? I should also point out that I heard her shouting at some poor staff member (I’m guessing staff by the way she was barking orders) as I recall pointing out to my partner that I was glad I didn’t work for her.

    My food experience? I am a vegetarian and was served broccoli that stank of fish! It’s beyond me how that could happen. I did want to complain but I wanted to avoid any confrontation with that manager woman who obviously has a problem with the very basics of customer service.

    Since then, I have heard through the grapevine that this same manager makes the working lives of her poor kitchen staff a living hell and the staff turnover has been extreme – this may go some way to explaining the fishy broccoli!

    In a town as small and close-knit as Prestatyn, I think the reputation of this new pub is already in tatters.

  5. H Hurley
    H Hurley says:

    Oh boy, was looking forward to reading about the new pub, as I left Ely Dec 01 to live in the USA, but am returning soon, so I am dissapointed to see the reviews here and all but a few are bad, seems a lack in training, bad management going on there, a definate lack in peple skills. i have been in the trade for many, many years, and sort of know the pros and cons of running a happy pub.

    Do they need a new landlord soon, perhaps i’ll send in my C.V

    Such a shame

  6. John R
    John R says:

    Interesting reviews !

    Barracuda are to open a new pub shortly in Prestatyn, North Wales, later July 2007 or even later having seen the slow progress.

    The location is spot on and we wish them well BUT . . .

    Hopefully we shall have a really decent Manager and supporting staff who are polite and well trained and no excessive waits from the kitchen. An hour wait is totally unacceptable – something is seriously wrong !

    We are just back from Cape Cod and Boston USA and the courtesy and politeness and attention and standard of presentation we experienced was second to none.

    So Barracuda management take note please.


  7. J Sime
    J Sime says:

    Sounds like The Hereward is run by fascist robots from what I’ve read here and heard from people in general. So why do people spend money there?
    The case of the old lady wearing the hat is astounding. We’re all doomed if managers like this don’t apply a sense of judgement and common sense. When people enforce rules like this 100%, we lose something we Brits have always in the past been famous for – fair play.
    You only have to go to the USA to see how “officials” treat people – it’s dreadful. No one there listens to any mitigation, it’s just “do this my way or else I’ll call a cop”
    This Hereward thing is easy. Don’t go there.
    If you want a nice, quite drink with friends you have the Prince Albert and similar pubs. If you want to see a fight and witness ASBO behaviour you have the High Flyer. If you fancy a good old “show-off” and listen to self opinionated,egotistical twonks you have the “hobby” pub the Fountain.Enjoy

  8. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Never been to the hereward and after reading everyones comments… i don’t want to go. I support The Flyer as it may be a little tired but it serves nice, good value food, keeps a lovely pint and we have never met such a welcoming landlady before as Krysia. Support the original fri/sat night out pubs!!!!!!!

  9. Dan
    Dan says:

    I write in response to the numerous comments listed in regards to Mrs Wilbraham’s hat and the supposed poor attitude that Mr Love displayed in regards to this incident, which seems to have resulted in him being portrayed locally as the devil himself.

    I speak from an objective viewpoint and support Mr Love wholeheartedly in his actions. From all reports, and indeed, from Mrs Wilbraham’s statement to Look East, Mr Love was courteous when making his request. His reasons behind this request, when viewed as an isolated incident, may well seem ridiculous; asking an old lady to remove her hat because she poses a threat? I agree, it DOES seem ridiculous – until you view the situation in context. We do indeed, as Mr Love indicated, live in a changing society, where anti-social behaviour is now commonplace, and where young people use baseball caps and hoods to disguise their faces in order to commit anti-social acts. However, we also live in a society that espouses equality for all regardless of age, sex or religious persuasion. In light of this, how can Mr Love be demonised for asking Mrs Wilbraham no more than he would of anyone else? To those who have made known their complaints about this situation, I would point out that rules like the ‘no hats’ rule were introduced by the licensed trade in order to protect YOU from anti-social behaviour.

    Whilst Mrs Wilbraham obviously posed no threat, had Mr Love permitted her to continue wearing her hat in his establishment, he may then have been confronted with some pimply lout, intent on causing trouble whilst protecting his identity from CCTV cameras, who would claim indemnity from the ‘no hats’ rule by using Mrs Wilbraham as an example. Then, once he had glassed YOU, the complainer, in the face, left you screaming in pain and made good his escape, neither Mr Love, nor Ely’s esteemed police force would be able to identify him from CCTV footage. Would you damn Mr Love’s and Barracuda Group’s rules then?
    My point is this; certain rules are implemented for the safety of the general public, and these rules should apply to all regardless of age, sex or creed. We live in a society that claims to be based on equality, democracy and civility. If a rule does not apply to certain groups of people because they are not deemed to be a threat in the generally percieved sense of the word, then they shouldn’t be applied to anyone at all. And where does that leave us? Questioning the very laws intended to safeguard us and our way of life.

    In short, wake up, Ely! I grew up in your town and, having lived away from the time-bubble that is Ely for eleven years, I can see exactly what Mr Love means when he says the world is changing.

  10. Mrs Rouncefield
    Mrs Rouncefield says:

    My husband and I ventured into the Hereward for the first time on a sunday lunchtime two weeks ago. The waiter was very nice and there was a nice atmosphere so initial impressions were good.

    My husbands food arrived after nearly an hour wait and it looked nice but was a bit on the cold side.The waiter said that mine would be along shortly, about 10 minutes later mine did arrive but instead of the tomato and Mozzarella burger that my husband ordered a beef burger arrived.

    This is not unusual, we are both vegetarians and sometimes this happens. The waiter told me that I could have a refund or order again. As my husband was already half way through his meal and the wait was substantial I thought I’d just get a refund and get some lunch on the way home.

    I went to ask the manager who flatly refused to refund me for the meal that I couldn’t eat. He said that my husband had ordered a burger and that’s what I had got. He hadn’t even given us a receipt to check our order, so clearly even if there was a misunderstanding he was in some way responsible.

    A small thing ended up in a very heated debate between my husband, me and the manager until we were both shaking with anger at his attitude. He was rude, arrogant and extremely unpleasant. Very bad managment, no people skills and no sense of the customer being right. He told us that we’d know not to go back there again! It was if we were criminals and we were perfectly pleasant customers.

    Eventually we did get a refund for my meal but our afternoon was ruined, my husband couldn’t finish his dinner or drinks. We will certainly not go back there again or take any of our friends and family.

    I am still cross about it and when I complained to the Barracuda group they did not respond.

  11. C McEwan
    C McEwan says:

    I’m fuming at that arrogant and rude little man Tony Love, how dare he say that “Mrs Wilbraham does not understand that the world is changing”.

    The world certainly is changing, and not for the better, if our elderly are going to be treated as potential criminals for wearing a hat indoors.

    Has Mr Love never heard of the concept of common sense? Or is that too “old world” for him?

    The people of Ely should boycott this establishment so it closes down.

  12. Pete, Edinburgh
    Pete, Edinburgh says:

    Well they do so say there’s no such thing as bad publicity tough-guy-Tony, and it doesn’t get much better that several million people seeing/reading the name of the Hereward pub. Unless that is they all make a concious effort never to go in it, (and tell eveyone they know to do likewise) as a consequence of your pathetic behaviour…

  13. Pete
    Pete says:

    A pub landlord with supposed 27 years experience ………… certainly not in dealing with people!! As a landlord I will not serve anyone wearing a hooded top, with the hood up, or wearing baseball caps.

    All I can hope is that Barracuda sack him and the chief executive of Barracuda visits the lady to concerned to give her a personal apology ………… and take her to lunch in another high class restaurant not owned by Barracuda!

  14. Simon
    Simon says:

    What a disgusting way to treat an 82 year old lady. “An 82-year-old Women’s Institute stalwart has been asked to remove her hat in a pub – because staff claimed it was a security risk”.

  15. Stuart Bell
    Stuart Bell says:

    According to the BBC:

    Pub licensee Tony Love said it was pub policy to always ask people to remove their hats.

    “It’s all to do with the CCTV. We have 13 cameras inside the people and we cannot be seen to be discriminating between the youths and the elderly people.

    “We always approach people politely and most of the elderly take their hats off anyway when they sit down. Mrs Wilbraham does not understand that the world is changing.”

    What an arrogant little moron! The world is changing; pub landlords think they can be rude to 82 year old ladies.

    Boycott The Hereward until he makes a public apology!

  16. James Sinclair
    James Sinclair says:

    Hats and old ladies?
    You are obviously a McDonalds with alchohol.
    Try Management instead of rules.
    Having been in the trade for the length of time that you have, and the age that you are.
    Would you really drink in your pub?

  17. Julia
    Julia says:

    I saw the account on Look East News this evening of the disgusting treatment of the elderly lady who visited your pub for her lunch and was rudely asked to take off her hat. This elderly, polite lady was humiliated and I and left wondering, will you be asking any people visiting your pub wearing religious head dress to do the same thing?

    Shame on you, and I for one as an English person would never visit your premises after hearing about this.

  18. Michael
    Michael says:

    I’ve just been listening to the news item about the unfortunate Mrs Wilbraham being told to remove her hat `for security reasons’.

    Where do companies like Barracuda find staff that are so stupid and insensitive? Do they give their staff some form of drug to suppress any dangerous tendencies to humanity or common sense?

    I wish I could threaten to boycott Barracuda, but as I wouldn’t dream of patronising the sort of anonymous dump that they run this option isn’t open to me.

    I just hope the good citizens of Ely will descend on the Hereward en masse, all proudly wearing an appropriately annoying titfer.

  19. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    We have the same policy in our club. As was said, we cannot and will not discriminate between old and young people.

    Mrs. Wilbraham is a very nice lady and we can see her point of view, but she was asked nicely to take her hat off.

  20. Don
    Don says:

    Tony, you shirty little authoritarian, how can you possibly know whether Mrs. Wilbraham understands that the world is changing?

  21. Suzanne Clark
    Suzanne Clark says:

    I visted the pub on Saturday 18th February at 2.30 in the afternoon. I was with my son 21, his friends 22, 22 and 20 and their parents obviously considerably older! The young barman asked for id for the young lady who was 22 which she did not have. We were told we could not be served and asked to leave. Whilst I fully appreciate the licensing laws I am fairly sure they only apply to alcoholic drinks and not the food we were trying to buy. At no time did we attempt to order drinks – only food. Not an experience to be repeated. Found a very good fish and chip shop not too far away that was happy to serve the seven of us and take our money.

  22. Molly
    Molly says:

    The pub is exactly what Ely needs, the rude management staff are definitely NOT what Ely needs. It seems that they have not been teaching manners to their staff either.

    I was shocked how rude and unhelpful some of the staff are. There have been numinous occasions where I have picked something on their ok menu to be told “not in stock� their menu is ok and does appear to have a good selection but seems that the pub cannot keep their promises on many things.

    It is so disappointing that there is no music, if you go in there on a weekend night the atmosphere is very ‘boring’. Even Pure with its exceptionally loud music was better. The Flyer offers more entertainment than the Hereward by just sitting outside on the decrepit benches.

  23. Charlene
    Charlene says:

    Well I have been waiting for the past 7 – 10 years for a real decent pub in Ely and it seems like the Hereward has now won the award for the best pub in Ely in my view, good well priced food, good selection of drink and good atomesphere!!
    An all round winner!

  24. Julie
    Julie says:

    I visited The Hereward yesterday for lunch & can’t wait to go back.

    The food was fantastic with a huge choice & it was beautifully presented. We only waited 10 minutes for our meals.

    The desserts were gorgeous & all the food was excellent value for money.

    It was baking hot outside but lovely & cool in The Hereward & the staff were all really friendly & efficient.

    It was a pleasure to visit.

    I fully support the no kids policy (my two are 9 & 13). The last thing anyone wants in a pub like this is squealing kids – families are better off sticking to the Hungry Horse (one on Milton Road & one in Fen Ditton).

  25. Phil
    Phil says:

    No under 18’s ? Great Idea!

    That’s the great thing about Smith & Jones pubs…like may they , and they do !, prosper !

  26. Rachael
    Rachael says:

    I enjoyed opening night in the Hereward very much. However, I am somewhat concerned that unlike most pubs in Ely, the Hereward does not seem to display anything to say they are part of the ‘Pubwatch’ scheme. What is even more concerning is that over the past few weeks several members of the public who are on the Pubwatch scheme (banned from all pubs taking part) were in the Hereward!! I sincerely hope the management realise this quickly before any trouble and act upon it!

  27. Sue Hennebry
    Sue Hennebry says:

    Emma Currin from Barracuda called me personally this evening following my e-mail to the group asking them to explain their actions in not allowing under 18s. Very nice lady too, but she couldn’t explain their original press comments other than to say it’s very embarrassing and their original spokesperson, “made a mistake”. I’m certainly not alone in questioning this apparent about-face.

    I’m not cynical by nature, but do now wonder if the negative press regarding a “superpub” and related anti-social behaviour may have resulted in them being economical with the truth in an effort to diffuse the arguments. Whichever side of the fence you sit regarding children in pubs (I’m a “for” and I’m sure there are equal numbers “against”), my issue is with the group’s honesty and integrity and feel they owe us a proper public explanation. Could it have been PR spin or was it a genuine mistake? Of course people do make mistakes, although not usually at quite such PR-critical moments. With the benefit of hindsight, this might just lead you to question their motives.

    Over to you Barracuda……..might just have to review my cynical nature!

  28. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    I have now had an official response from the Barracuda Group courtesy of Public Relations manager, Emma Currin:

    “Smith & Jones pubs are primarily aimed at over 18’s. We don’t have a children’s certificate for this premises and therefore it would be against the law to allow children into the Hereward.

    Some of our Smith & Jones outlets do allow children, which is where the misunderstanding came from in the comment given regarding ‘appealing to all ages and to families’, but the decision has been taken to make the Hereward an over 18s venue.

    We are sorry for any disappointment that this policy has caused, but we do hope that people will continue to visit and enjoy the Hereward.”

    Following on from this Emma replied:

    ‘I did mention the comment to our operations team and I guess when Caroline (the previous PR Manager) made the comment we weren’t entirely sure of the business plan for the pub. We do have some pubs where young children are allowed so I assume that’s where the confusion came from.’

    So nothing really conclusive from Barracuda, so I decided to contact the East Cambs District Council’s Development Officer, Trevor Eagle about the planning application to see if there was any mention of the pub being a ‘family pub’.

    The initial response was: ‘I am aware of the ‘over 18 rule’, which in my opinion is not in breach of planning controls or the planning permission.’

    I will be looking at the application very soon!

  29. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    I would like to agree with Tracy, the wait for food is just not acceptable.

    The pub looks great and is just what Ely needs, but if people get discouraged like we have they may not retain customers.

    I have not been in the pub for a night out, but wanted a good lunch with 2 friends. Instead we ended up waiting, watching the clock and in the end complaining twice, whilst watching others do the same. We only had an hour off from work, which ended up being over an hour and involved eating fast when the food did finally arrive, to get back to work.

    Please sort out the wait for food, as everything else is great and I want to come back and enjoy myself!!

  30. Tracy Pearce
    Tracy Pearce says:

    I have just visited this pub for food and was disappionted in the result. Yes the menu is great, but that’s if it’s available and if you can afford to wait over an hour to get it!

    I witnessed the same gentleman try to order 3 different meals with no luck. My friends and I then placed our orders, all the food was available but we were not informed of the 45-60 minute wait and as the average lunchhour is only 50-60 minutes long that’s just not good enough.

    The staff were very apologetic, and explained that it was very busy, I wish this had been the case! Not only was it quiet for a lunchtime, but there were 3 chefs in the kitchen! As I have worked in this sector for many years I know “waffle� when I hear it. I’m afraid that as a pub it is lovely but waiting over an hour for a salad is just not good enough! If they wish to keep and encourage customers through the door for food they will need to address this problem immediately!

  31. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    OK people, for clarity I will email the Barracuda Group. I will send their PR department this article and see what the response is.

    Remember if you want to keep up with this thread just fill out your details below (email address required) and check the box below to ‘Subscribe’.

  32. Norman Fletcher
    Norman Fletcher says:

    Just been surfing the Cambridge Evening News website when I came across this interesting quote from July 13th 2004 prior to the planning application being granted:

    Caroline Nodder, for Barracuda Group, said: ‘We are not talking about a cut-price booze bar. It will be a traditional pub with contemporary twist. We are going for an 11pm closing time.

    The emphasis will be on food trade, particularly lunchtime trade, and we want it to appeal to all ages and to families.’

    The full story can be seen at this link

  33. Adam
    Adam says:

    We have Barracuda pubs in Nottingham, whilst at uni. they’re great for Thursday nites, all drinks a pound. I hope they do it at home as well! Finally a bit of competition for dives such as Deans, that have just ripped young people off as theres nowhere else to go!

    Ely, always about 40 years behind the rest of the UK but at least were gettin there, who knows we might get a proper nightclub one day!

    Come on investors theres money to be had in Europes fastest growing city!

  34. martin
    martin says:

    Sure, I don’t want kids hanging around in the evenings.

    But at lunchtime, what’s the problem? Short-sighted, backward thinking.

  35. Sue Hennebry
    Sue Hennebry says:

    Why no children Barracuda Group? Come on, you marketed this as a family pub for Ely. Obviously just hype to placate the locals. A little “fishy” I think…

  36. Charlotte Cairns
    Charlotte Cairns says:

    Yes the opening night was good and much fun was had.

    Although I have to agree about the wine selection, the bar staff could not have been more friendly despite the bar being six deep!

    The pub has a very comfortable feel to it, and I look forward to drinking there.
    I especially look forward to that fire in the corner when winter comes around – toasty!

  37. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    I understand that the doormen are likely to be present on Friday and Saturday, and possibly Thursday if continually busy.

    There is very high security (CCTV) in the pub so anyone wanting to create mischeif (and those not) are likely to be on video. Why such high security?

  38. Li
    Li says:

    I went to the opening last night. Yes it was packed! General first impressions are that it is a great pub. My only beefs are that the same round never cost the same twice, and the three top wines were unavailible. Although I guess they’re all just teething problems.

    I hope they keep the bouncers on, a LOT of underage kids were trying it on!

    Lovely interior, (Jesus £600K?) very friendly staff. Good prices, etc.

    Keep up the good work!

  39. John Glover
    John Glover says:

    It looks great and I’m pleased that we have another choice of drinking den in the city. However, I won’t be going for a while because it will be packed to the rafters for the first few months. Down the years, a small place like Ely has seen all the new venues fill up with people that are greateful for somewhere different to drink.

    Locals in their 30’s & 40’s will remember when the Fenman Bar at the Lamb was the new ‘in’ place to go. Similarly, The Minster was packed after its re-vamp. The High Flyer had its own hey-day when it was renovated. So, I look forward to a pint in The Hereward in about 2014.

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