Sisters doing it for themselves

The Shoulder of Mutton
The Shoulder of Mutton
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Regulars at The Shoulder of Mutton in Worrall can be forgiven for thinking they’re seeing double.

There’s not one landlady behind the bar, but two.

Family: Sisters Claire and Katy with chef Richard North

Family: Sisters Claire and Katy with chef Richard North

Since December, the running of the quaint little village pub has been a sister act.

Claire Cinnamond and her little sis Katy Edgeley are sharing the hostess with the mostest role. “We are both front of house; it can get quite bossy in there sometimes,” grins Claire, 38.

“We often end up falling into good cop, bad cop roles – Katy’s the former. We don’t always agree and because we’re sisters we speak very plainly to each other. But it’s a good thing – it clears the air and we instantly get over it. And another huge plus is that we trust each other 100 per cent.”

The girls have plenty of experience of working with family. They grew up in the licensing trade; mum and dad Norman and Sheila Cinnamond owned Middlewood Hall in its heyday, moving on to 450-year-old Fernie Castle in the Scottish Highlands and a luxury hotel in Maidenhead before moving back to Walkey in their retirement.

“It was our life when we were growing up. We would help out in the school holidays. I worked for my parents before running a couple of bars in Lincolnshire,” explains Claire, a mum of one.

Katy, 31, went into hairdressing, but when she was made redundant last winter, the pair spotted the empty pub in the village they had grown up in and despite the fact that Katy’s first child is due in May, decided to take it on. Claire says: “The Shoulder was always a lovely pub; when we were little our parents used to bring us here for lunch.”

It had stood empty for a number of years but since December the girls have been breathing new life into the place, much to the pleasure of owners Enterprise Inns.

The sisters are growing accustomed to customers peering over their shoulders in search of a landlord. “Some are quite traditional in their view and expect a man to be in charge. But times are changing,” says Claire, whose partner Richard Bland, a financial consultant, rolls up his sleeves and helps out when he gets home from work, alongside Katy’s joiner husband Matthew.

They plan to turn the pub into a gastro food destination and have hired talented Sheffield chef Richard North, who trained in pastry at London’s Park Lane Hotel and worked under respected local chef Christian Kemp at Chesterfield Road’s Blue Room Brasserie.

Richard is building the menu and training up the kitchen team. The emphasis is on quality dishes packed with locally sourced, freshly-prepared ingredients. Slow-cooked lamb shank, game skewers featuring produce from the local shoot and rack of lamb are specialities and the Sunday roast is so popular, 30 hopeful diners had to be turned away this weekend.