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!