They’re hot stuff at the Green Dragon in Swineshead, and there’s nothing green about their approach to food hygiene.
They are among the latest premises in the area to receive top marks from Boston Borough Council’s environmental health inspectors.
Green Dragon now joins an exclusive club of premises preparing and selling food which are able to display a food hygiene rating of five.
The pub lives up to its name, with hot as you can take it home-made chilli sauce and customers raving online about the pizzas.
The Green Dragon, Swineshead’s only pub, is a family affair, with Sean Trafford and wife Sara and daughter Lacei behind the bar and chef Chelcei busy in the kitchen.
They took over almost three years ago, having previously been mine hosts at The Wheatsheaf in the village, which is now closed.
As a CAMRA member their aim for the Green Dragon has always been for it to be a traditional pub – always five real ales on the hand pumps – two from Lincolnshire brewer Batemans and three guest beers – and no-nonsense pub food.
All the food is homemade and menu specialities are pizza and chilli sauces – hot as you like it and their “Hot Hot Hot” and “FieryDragon” are real challenges for those who profess to like it sizzling. Chelcei makes her own chilli sauce using fresh chillies from local growers.
The pub is open 5pm to 11pm Monday to Thursday and noon to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with food available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Sean said: “We want the pub ito be the hub of the community. We make our back room available to all local groups to use for their meetings, we run trips on a regular basis and together undertake events to raise money for charity. Recently we raised more than £1,200 by 33 of us running in a Tough Mudder-style event, and one of our patrons undertaking a three-mile running challenge. We have two Bulldogs and a Yorkie-Poo of our own, and we welcome well-behaved dogs with their owners.”
There’s plenty going on – poker on Tuesdays, crib on Wednesdays, two successful darts teams on Fridays (in their own specially-equipped darts room), crib again on Saturdays and poker again on Sundays. The pub also has a resident badminton team.
There’s sport on the TV, sunny outdoor seating and a beer garden, and watch out for the references to dragons, horses and Star Wars, including a life-sized replica of Han Solo encased in carbon.
Here’s the full list of the latest premises to impress the inspectors: Green Dragon, Swineshead; Bada Bean mobile service; Peter Stevens Butchers, Freiston; Bridge House Training Centre, Boston; Salvation Army Citadel, Boston; Topkapi Grill, Boston; SS and Sons, Boston; Restore Church, Boston; St George’s Preparatory School, Boston; Butterwick Primary School; Country Canteen, Staples Vegetables, Boston; Pilgrim Hospital Day Nursery; Boston Delicatessen; Boston Lawn Tennis Club; Skirbeck Court; Little Treasures Nursery, Kirton; Poacher’s Country Hotel, Kirton Holme; Food Stop, Boston; The Food Bar (Denny’s Cuisine) mobile service; Lyells, Boston, and Mon Ami Day Nursery, Boston.
The council’s environmental health officers rate premises in line with the Food Standard Agency’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
The scheme helps consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops.
You can search for information about hygiene standards at restaurants, takeaways and food shops at http://ratings.food.gov.uk/
Behind the bar, from left, Sean, Sara and Lacei. Chef Chelcei, just elected as one of the new Boston Borough Councillors for Swineshead and Holland Fen, is pictured with one of her speciality chilli sauces – the challenging Dragon’s Tears which comes in a skull-shaped dispenser – you have been warned! Also pictured on the bar is the Green Dragon mascot. It has become a tradition for him to go on holiday with regulars and pictures have appeared of him relaxing in South Africa, Australia, Barbados, America, Brazil and Spain – just some of the far-flung places he visits