My Local Life: Martin Prescott, Nutwood Pubs

My Local Life: Martin Prescott, Nutwood Pubs


The Listing welcomes Martin Prescott, of Nutwood Pubs, who owns and manages three venues just outside of Royston: The Woodman Inn in Nuthampstead, a delightful traditional country venue, steeped in local history and with a unique connection to the US Air Force by way of it having been located right at the centre of a huge WW2 air base; The Pheasant in Great Chishill, a ‘heart of the village’ pub since re-opening in June 2021, delivering quality food and drinks with first class hospitality included, and weekly food-led specials such as Ruby (curry) Tuesdays and pie night every Wednesday; and finally, the Three-9-Eight Coffee Barn opened at the Woodman in December 2022, providing a popular daytime addition to the Nutwood Group. Whether you’re meeting friends after a walk (or cycle) in the local countryside, or simply taking advantage of the super-fast broadband to work or study in peace and quiet, a fresh coffee and slice of delicious home-made cake will be guaranteed to make your day.

Martin lives just outside Cottered village, having moved from North London in 2021.


An interesting question for you, but beyond your venues, what’s your favourite local place to eat?
That’s a bit of a tough one to answer, as I tend to either eat out at one of the Nutwood restaurants, or simply combine a workday in London with a visit to one of my favourite haunts in the evening. If you can point me towards anywhere special locally however, (I’ve not yet found a good Japanese or Korean restaurant within easy driving range), there’s nothing much I won’t try.

What is the last book you read?
I was fascinated by a recent Radio 4 series on the economist Adam Smith, so I’m presently working my way through his ‘Wealth of Nations’. I have to admit it’s a bit heavy going, however, so I also have the latest Robert Harris novel ‘Act of Oblivion’ on my bedside table for a little light relief.

What makes you happy?
This is going to sound really corny, but what makes me really happy is making other people happy. There was a line in the Ricky Gervais TV series ‘After Life’ that went something like, “Happiness is amazing. It’s so amazing, it doesn’t matter if it’s yours or not.” I really get that. To give you an example, I remember attending an evening event at the Woodman in the immediate aftermath of the final Covid lockdown. It was a lovely, lively occasion, and the happiness (and no doubt relief) on the faces of customers and staff alike was so overwhelming that it almost moved me to tears.

How do you keep fit?
I swim lengths almost every day, and I seem to walk miles backwards and forwards in my house, but that’s only because I’ve usually forgotten why I’m there when I get to one end or the other! On the positive side, I don’t smoke (at all) or drink (to excess), and I try to avoid all but fresh and minimally-processed foods – don’t ever try to convert me to veganism though.

What is the most challenging aspect of your position?
I’ve had many ups and down in my life, sometimes as a result of poor decisions I’ve made, but often because circumstances have seemed to conspire against me (and not always me alone). Whatever the case, I’ve never failed to find a route through even the greatest of difficulties. The most challenging aspect for anybody that’s had similar experiences is invariably trying to stay positive, and to keep a smile on your face in order to inspire confidence in those around you to show that you really know what you’re doing – even when you’re not entirely sure you do!

What is your proudest moment?
No question about this one. The birth of my twin daughters was most definitely the proudest moment of my life. The birth of my son 3yrs later came a close second, but almost everything else pales into insignificance.

If you ruled the world, what would you do?
Right now I think I’d fire the Governor of the Bank of England. His blind insistence in trying to ‘fix’ inflation by raising interest rates, when consumer demand is blindingly-obviously not the cause of it this time around, is both crippling the economy and needlessly plunging many millions of people and businesses into financial catastrophe.
That said, if I actually ruled the world, there may be one or two other things I’d do first!

Which four people you would invite to dinner?
Julius Caesar, Queen Elizabeth 1st, Winston Churchill and my mum. The conversation may well be fascinating, but I bet I know who’d get the biggest laughs. They’d all love her cakes too.

Three 9 Eight Coffee Barn, Nuthampstead,
SG8 8NB 01763 848328
The Pheasant, Great Chishill, SG8 8SR 01763 838535
The Woodman Inn, Nuthampstead, SG8 8NB
01763 848328