Nestled in the rolling green loveliness of the Chiltern Hills, the ancestral home of Windsor chairmaking, the award-winning Mash Inn at Radnage opened in 2016. Their menus, built around locally sourced and foraged ingredients and cooked over open fire by head chef Jon Parry, have been receiving rave reviews ever since from customers and critics alike.
In 2015, we were approached by would-be owner Nick Mash, who told us he was going to buy a pub and he wanted us to make the furniture. We discussed ideas and costs, then he disappeared for several months and we thought that was the first and last we would see of him or his pub. How wrong we were. In 2020, The Mash Inn won the Good Food Guide's south east region Restaurant of the Year. Obviously, in BLAM's humble opinion, it was not only the food, the drink, and the great hospitality served up by Nick, Jon and the team. Clearly, it was also the furniture.
This project gave us the opportunity to develop a more contemporary Windsor chair, something we had been considering for many years to add to our extensive range of more traditional patterns. The Staple chair, so called because of the unusual metal fixing detail that retains the back stays against the seat board, has now become a firm favourite of ours and a regular customer order.
We also made tables for the pub, using character oak boards which, instead of jointing seamlessly in the usual manner, retain a meandering natural gap between. Structural integrity was achieved by using steel straps and coachbolts, a somewhat industrial take on the Arts & Crafts tradition of honesty of construction. In addition, rather than planing the boards flat, we instead retained the natural undulations that develop during the years of seasoning, and simply smoothed the surface out to a pleasingly tactile natural surface.