Stood on the patio overlooking Chew Valley Lake, with the winter sun starting to set, Steve & Diane Franks realised this was the place.
Having recently returned to live in Somerset after spending some time away they had been looking for somewhere to create a vibrant but comfortable café business – It just had to be here!
After being successful in its early years, the restaurant at Woodford Lodge was closed in September 2015. The building was still being used to facilitate the needs of the local fishermen, but the food operation needed a rethink. It needed fresh ideas, a different concept but above all, it needed some love.
Steve & Diane teamed up with local boys, Phil David & Jon Evans to create the café concept that today is known as “The Woodford”.
Steve & Diane have used their extensive hospitality knowledge to produce what you see today – a modern and relaxing environment with a quality menu to match.
As Head Chef, Steve prides himself on producing fresh, quality food with an emphasis on using local suppliers and ingredients and with daily specials, a mouth-watering selection of homemade cakes & desserts and a wine list with something for everyone, it really is the place to visit.
Whether you are coming for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch or even afternoon tea, you will find a warm welcome every time.
Steve & Di
Steve & Di Franks are a husband & wife team that have owned and run many restaurants in the Bristol & surrounding areas, from the Seven Stars at Timsbury to Franks in Keynsham. After spending some time in New Zealand, they fancied a change of scenery so moved to Cornwall and opened a gastro pub, The Pandora. Here they won many accolades & awards including the Cornish Challenge at which they were highly praised by judge Nathan Outlaw.
Steve trained as an A la Carte chef and has dedicated his working life to producing beautifully cooked food for customers to enjoy. His love of great ingredients and simple tasty food is obvious once you have had chance to sample it.
What compliments the dining experience is the wonderfully warm welcome on arrival from Di, Steve’s wife. Trained in front of house management, Di is committed to outstanding customer service, something they have both been commended for in reviews of the many establishments they have operated.
They returned to Somerset and were running the Café at a local Garden Centre, when the opportunity of creating something special at Woodford Lodge became a reality, so they grabbed it with both hands.
Phil & Jon
Phil David & Jon Evans run Arthur David, Food with Service Ltd which is a locally based Foodservice business.
This business has been supplying outstanding produce and innovative food ingredients to the south wests’ catering industry for the past 50 years. They not only really understand food, they understand exceptional customer service and moreover they understand people, employing over 350 local team members. The business has built a reputation for quality, something the boys are keen to bring to The Woodford.
“We know you will enjoy what we have to offer, it really is a very special place, with special people and very special views – just come and see.”
Teaming up with Steve & Di felt natural for Phil & Jon. As local lads, they wanted to help make something great for the place they call home and The Woodford will definitely be that.
We have searched the local area to find the very best people around. Team Woodford understand what it takes to make a great experience for our customers.
They all have a love of the area in which they live and work and one of our team has been visiting the lake for so many years she told us she actually owns it – it’s her lake!