The Queen’s Head public house has gone through many phases through the years but none was more successful than during the late 1980s/early 1990s under landlord Simon Sturt when the pub won the Curry Pub of The Year Award.
The Curry Club was formed almost by accident. Shortly after becoming landlord in 1988 Simon noticed a group of gents coming into the pub each Thursday and leaving mid way through the evening. When he found that this was because every Thursday they went into Tring for a curry he offered to prepare them a curry at The Queen’s Head the following week. When this was served several other patrons asked if they could order one but Simon had only prepared enough for the original group. However he declared that from the following week Thursday night would be Curry Club night.
A none too tasteful cartoon logo of Queen Victoria on the porcelain throne showing a tattooed buttock was quickly devised and The Curry Club went from strength to strength. These were not boil in the bag or mass produced curries but were prepared from scratch on the premises. The Curry Club soon became a World Tour as Simon sourced recipes not just from India but from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the whole Asian region.
Finding a table on a Thursday night became harder and harder as word of the Curry Club spread and so every night through the week was declared curry night and a curry buffet was installed on weekday lunchtimes.
After winning several runner up titles in 1995 The Queen’s Head proudly won the Curry Pub of The Year award.
Sadly for Long Marston the Curry Club outgrew The Queen’s Head with Simon moving to the larger Grand Junction Arms at Bulbourne and later The Hawthorns Hotel in Glastonbury where the Curry Club is alive and well today (2012).
Article was written by Ian Nicholls.
For more information, visit the Hawthorn’s Hotel.