For the past few years we have taken over St. John’s place for the duration of the Hay Festival and this year is no exception, from the 23rd May to the 2nd June we will be serving our award winning burgers, sides and craft beers to the crowds of the festival.
The story of a rule of tum
HEREFORD INDIE FOOD
Out of a love for food and for celebrating local makers, artisans and restaurants the first indie food festival was born in 2016, using the space behind the Burger Shop and The Bookshop the humble, overgrown car park was turned into an incredible festival of music food and culture.
People loved the festival and the following year things were stepped up even more attracting 4000 visitors to Hereford to sample the offerings.
Along side the festival a zine was launched to showcase what Hereford has to offer, with articles on suppliers, makers and restaurants.
Burger Shop worcester
In 2017 came the time to expand once more, this time into a different city and after leasing 3 railway arches, an ambitious refurbishment project and training up a new team; Burger Shop Worcester was born.
It was all hands on deck for the building work.
This new restaurant used the arch space to create a vibrant burger joint in the heart of Worcester and soon grew the following to a whole new audience of burger fans.
With three successful restaurants things were growing fast for A Rule of Tum, in 2018 Jon parted ways and set himself up running his own business, leaving behind the strong banding and design that set A Rule of Tum apart.
As things ticked along Dorian and Edwin grew plans for the future, the most pressing issue being the rent increases on the current Hereford Burger Shop and The Bookshop restaurants. With a jump in rates it may have meant relocation, but instead a new project to purchase the current buildings and have a secure further were born.
With a need for capital the boys turned to the people, running a very successful crowdfunding camping and reaching over £400000 in a matter of weeks.
Sadly this campaign never came to be, with laws rapidly changing the offering for bond only offerings was not able to continue, but not ones to be stalled the boys turned to the platform Crowdcube and managed to raise over half a million pounds for equity in the business.
The crowdfunded money is now set to help expand The Bookshop by merging with the space next door and increasing the offering to all day dining with the best brunch in Hereford.
Soon after this the Burger Shop Hereford will get the same treatment with a refurbishment and expansion, bringing about an even bigger change to the face of A Rule of Tum.
It’s been great to see a rule of tum grow, and along with it the food culture in Hereford, seeing restaurants like the Burger Shop has inspired others to bring stunning food and drinks offerings to Hereford and increase the choice for all.
A Rule of Tum was never about creating a faceless chain, it’s about great food, individuality and inspiring change.
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The story of a rule of tum
A rule of tum began back in 2013 when the creative minds of Brothers Edwin and Dorian Kirk, along with their close friend Jon Stead decided to bring about a change in Herefordshire food culture and begin the journey towards bringing great dining experiences to the people of Herefordshire and beyond.
Supper Clubs + Pop ups
The first venture started with a series of suppers and Sunday lunches at Dunkerton’s farm in Pembridge, Herefordshire, these were all sell out events, and the money raised form these allowed the boys to kick start their business and get the ball rolling with a more permanent food offering.
Dorian returned to his his town of Hereford after opening and running restaurants in London and quickly realised that the local area was distinctly lacking in decent food choices teamed up with his brother. Edwin, having worked in hospitality most of his life brought to the table his business skills and along with their friend Jons design, branding and social media skills allowed them to create A Rule of Tum.
In 2014 the 3 guys took up residence in the local micro-pub The Beer in Hand, from here they started to do Burger Thursdays, offering a London style burger with a Hereford twist to the locals, it was an instant success, with a packed venue week after week.
Soon came time to step things up and with that the first AROT employees, this allowed the one night a week operation to expand into doing a stunning Sunday lunch, tapas nights, fish Fridays and pie nights.
All of this was all done alongside various other festival pop ups in Hereford, such as a high town burger pop up, Rock the Farm festival and Shackfest as well as event and wedding catering. All this from a tiny kitchen in the middle of Hereford.
Burger shop hereford
It was clear that Hereford wanted great places to eat and with money raised from the first stage of the business the guys were able to secure, convert and open the first Burger Shop on Aubrey street in Hereford.
Burger shop opened its doors in November 2014 to queues out the door and a very satisfied customer base, fans were able to get a stunning burger from the Burger Shop 5 days a week.
As the restaurant grew so did the team, bringing on more people to cope with an increase in demand for the food and this heated up even more when acclaimed restaurant critic Jay Rayner came to town and wrote a stellar Review for the guardian, praising the burger shop for “a remarkable effort on doing the seemingly simple, a gold star and a tick”
The focus always was and still is with using local suppliers and supporting the community, the beef is from down the road, the buns from a local baker.
The 5 day a week operation was expanded to 7 days a week with regular specials such as kimchi burgers, chimichurri burgers and cauliflower cheese croquettes gracing the tables of Burger Shop Hereford.
Soon after the Burger Shop’s expansion an old bookshop next door became available, the boys quickly snapped this up and opened a second prep kitchen to help the increasingly busy Burger Shop restaurant.
The bookshop was refurbished and given the AROT treatment, exposing the bricks, using concrete to make a stylish bar and building a massive bookcase to pay homage to the bookshop it once was. The name was kept as The Bookshop and it all began with Sunday lunch and Steak Thursdays, this time farmer toms beef was butchered into the most stunning steaks and Sunday lunch alongside some incredible side dishes and desserts.
The bookshop really allowed A Rule of Tum to expand and offer a different style of food, in 2017 they won the coveted Observer Food: Best Sunday lunch of the year award, the first time it was won by a restaurant outside of London.
Expansion continued with tapas on Fridays & Saturdays, but the message from Hereforidians was clear; steak was king. From here it was steak nights from Thursdays to Saturdays, farmer Tom’s grass fed beef was flying out of the kitchen quickly gaining the bookshop a reputation in excellent food.
That’s it for part 1 of this blog, part 2 will be coming next week!
Here at A Rule of Tum we love to collaborate with local makers, suppliers and restaurants, so when the opportunity came up to do beer pairing dinner with the Hereford Beer House we jumped at the chance.
Ambiente, a group of restaurants based in Prague was firmly on the list when owners of A Rule of Tum visited a few years back, with a strong focus on a meat driven range of places to eat as well as a great sense of style, Ambiente’s restaurants were something to greatly admire.
This time round the welcome was ours to give, Tomas Karpisek and some of Ambient’s business leaders came to Hereford to see our fantastic restaurants, farms and the people that make up this wonderful county.
We started near the Black Mountains foraging with the wonderful Liz Knight and after finding out you can pretty much eat anything in one way or another we headed inside to sample treats such as salted apple blossom and a fantastic wild hazelnut liquor.
Lunch that day was from Wild by Nature Meats at Lower House Farm and was a great display of what Hereford can offer with locally sourced food and wonderfully talented chefs. Belted Galloway Topside with stout braised shin and Cedar Plank Salmon were served alongside beef dripping roast potatoes and charred seasonal veg, for dessert it was a Dark Chocolate & Muscovado pot with blood orange.
Soon after we were given a tour of the farm and shown the workings of the butchery, which do the most incredible delivered meat boxes using their free range, high welfare animals. As the snow started to come in over the mountains it was time to head back to Hereford where the Ambiente team went to the Burger Shop to see what we get up to in our little restaurant in Aubrey Street.
The following day we visited a farm in the Herefordshire countryside then headed over to show the guys our Worcester restaurant and our new butchery, after a quick coffee at Method Roastery and a Salt Beef burger to take away the guys headed back towards London to catch their flight home.
It was wonderful to welcome such a talented group of individuals to our counties, they have truly given Prague something to be proud of and we will be back soon for more.
Ambiente - www.ambi.cz/en/
Liz Knight Foraging - www.foragefinefoods.com
Wild by Nature Meats - www.wildbynaturemeats.com
Salt. It’s the world’s most used seasoning, it can flavour, cure, preserve and clean, and in our restaurants it’s a key ingredient of our cooking.
Droitwich Salt is sourced from one of the oldest and purest brine springs in the world, we use it because of its superior flavour, from seasoning our patties at the Burger Shop to sprinkling on our Sunday roast potatoes in The Bookshop.
Churchfields Saltworks harvests the salt by hand and crystallising the natural brine into this white gold is all done using renewable energy.
A Rule of Tum has always been about using local suppliers and growing a community, and we are proud to say that all of our salt comes from Droitwich Salt, less than 40 miles from our restaurants.
You can buy this wonderful salt here: www.droitwichsalt.com
Since A Rule of Tum first began we’ve always been working hard to bring people amazing, locally sourced food. We’ve opened 3 restaurants and sparked a food revolution in Hereford, and it’s incredible to see all of that hard work rewarded when we are featured in amazing publications such as Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery.
My journey with AROT began when I was in the midst of completing a part-time level 3 in professional cookery at the college. During a chefs takeover evening, I met Rupert, who later put me in touch with Dorian. I had a trial shift, and a short time after that got the job. I had no previous experience as a chef, and couldn't have start anywhere better!
Our friends at Chase Distillery are packing up their Landy's and heading to Burger Shop Worcester to host a tasting event to showcase their range of award winning single-estate spirits. Oh, and did we mention that Chef Rupert's prepared a scrummy nibbles menu to accompany it (see below).