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From Barcelona to Bedford…



Introducing the first in an occasional series of local heroes, featuring stories from people in Bedfordshire.

A few years ago our Bedford based spanish friends introduced us to Catalan couple David and Agatha when they ran The 5 Bells, Cople. We would spend long afternoons over a glass or two of wine enjoying the traditional spanish Sunday lunch – paella.

We were delighted to hear that the couple had taken over the Horse & Groom, an attractive riverside inn, based in the Bedfordshire village of Clapham.

Their menu at The Horse and Groom combines classic British pub fare as well as their spanish dishes. So David has had to master British favourites such as Yorkshire puds!  They are really part of their community too, recently selling brownies with proceeds going to Bedford Foodbank and putting on virtual catch ups and quiz nights to stay connected with their customers during lockdown.

A selection of authentic home cooked tapas

We asked the busy couple about their move here from Spain…

“Moving from Barcelona to Bedfordshire has certainly been an adventure for us and we’ve enjoyed every minute. David, my husband, is head chef and comes from a family of restaurateurs whose establishment dates back 50 years.  But what we really wanted was to branch out, broaden our experience while we’re still young, and as I have family connections in the UK, we decided to give it a try.

We’re very happy to have chosen Bedfordshire; such a beautiful area to live in and we’ve fallen in love with its country parks and surroundings. We really appreciate the warm welcome we’ve been given which has made settling in much easier, and our children have made lots of friend here. But we do miss our family back in Spain, especially this year as we haven’t been able to visit. That, and of course the warm weather.

This year has really put us to the test, as it has a lot of people. We started delivering takeaways as many affected by the pandemic were self-isolating, couldn’t get out to shop or were simply dependent on having meals provided. It was a challenge to begin with, but customers have been very supportive.

We’re now looking forward to being able to reopen the beer garden in April and crossing our fingers for good weather. All being well, it looks as though we’ll be able to open fully in May. Can’t wait to welcome our lovely customers back to The Horse and Groom.”

You can follow the Horse and Groom’s Facebook page for forthcoming reopening info and details of events. If you fancy a taste of Catalonia at home, you can order a paella, or perhaps a tapas selection delivered to your home. Here are several of the most recent meals we have enjoyed…


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