BUSINESS PROFILE - Poppies Bistro in Soham

PUBLISHED: 13:03 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 11:28 04 May 2010

Photo: HELEN SOUTH

Photo: HELEN SOUTH

IT S a family affair at Soham s newest restaurant Poppies Bistro where owner Dave Dawkins spoils his customers by indulging his passion for cooking. With the help of his wife Bridget and step-daughter, head chef Anna-Jane Hall, Dave tempts the most discer

IT'S a family affair at Soham's newest restaurant Poppies Bistro where owner Dave Dawkins spoils his customers by indulging his passion for cooking.

With the help of his wife Bridget and step-daughter, head chef Anna-Jane Hall, Dave tempts the most discerning palates with freshly cooked home-made food using all local produce.

His delightful traditional 40-seater English restaurant and wine bar is housed in Soham's oldest building opposite the magnificent St Andrew's Church in Churchgate Street.

The family bought the 500-year-old building after Dave gave up his job on his birthday following 30 years in the building trade to fulfil his dream.

A major renovation project followed and finally, just five months ago, Poppies Bistro opened, offering a welcoming, country feel with dishes to suit all tastes.

Poppies menu is wide and varied but customers planning a special evening or preferring a vegetarian option can request a particular meal and Dave will prepare it for their visit.

"We will cook whatever you like for that special night," promised Dave. "If a customer rings with a preferred choice of vegetables I will call back with suggestions for vegetarian dishes.

"Our restaurant is famous for its generous portions and our greatest claim to fame is that people say there is always too much to eat."

Dave was taught to cook from the age of five by his Irish-born mother.

Now he has taken many of her favourite recipes and combined them with others following careful research to create a menu which is just mouth-watering.

In the evening choose from starters which include stilton stuffed mushrooms and wild boar pate and a fish menu which boasts wild sea bass, mussels, traditional Scottish salmon and occasionally oysters. Feast on suet crust mushroom and pigeon breast pie, a variety of steaks with up to nine seasonal vegetables or Cajun chicken, among other delights.

Beer from the barrel at just £2 a pint from the Fenland Brewery at Little Downham, 13 different wines, with the French house wine from the Languedoc at just £9 a bottle, and every conceivable coffee made from a special blend of beans, complement the food.

All cakes, soups, pies and puddings served at Poppies Bistro are home-made and there are speciality ice-creams and cheesecakes from top quality suppliers.

INFO: Poppies Bistro is open every day for lunch, and every evening except Wednesday and Sunday.

Contact: Poppies Bistro, 2, Churchgate Street, Soham. Tel: 01353 721131 or visit its website at:

www.poppies-bistro.co.uk.

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