Couple’s recipe for success

Richard and Helen Crampton who have celebrated 25 years at their restaurant Le Bistro. Below, how it used to look
Richard and Helen Crampton who have celebrated 25 years at their restaurant Le Bistro. Below, how it used to look
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A Blackpool couple have celebrated 25 years in the restaurant trade by turning back the clock on the menu.

Richard and Helen Crampton, who run Le Bistro in Cleveleys, originally met at catering college and achieved their dream of running their own restaurant.

How it used to look

How it used to look

They took over the Beach Road premises which used to be a health food shop and ran it as such for a few years, before converting part of the building into a bistro.

The two businesses ran in parallel for three years before the shop was converted into the bar area of the popular a la carte restaurant.

Richard said: “It is now 25 years since we started running the restaurant so to celebrate and thank our loyal customers we have had a special menu with dishes that have been popular down the years.”

He said offerings included rack of local lamb in red currant sauce, chicken, mushroom and garlic pancake, fillets of beef with a bacon and tarragon sauce, lemon and ginger cheesecake.

We had always wanted to run our own restaurant

“We met at Blackpool Tech which has since become Blackpool and The Fylde College and for a while I went out of catering,” said Richard.

“But we had always wanted to get our own restaurant and had been looking for suitable premises.

“My wife ran the health food shop as a going concern for around four years before we built the restaurant.

“We ran them both for three years and then converted the shop are into the bar.

“Our idea was to have a small intimate a la carte bistro, not aiming for the high end of the market but good quality and reasonable prices.

“I think people use us as a place to go for a special event, an anniversary or a birthday rather than a place for families to eat regularly where you need something cheap and cheerful.”

He said they had seen many changes in the industry over the years and the regulations and red tape have increased, along with the needs to cater for specialised diets such as gluten free.

Helen wrote a regular recipe column for the Eating In section of The Gazette for many years.

Their children are Laura who works for Blackpool Council and Simon who is a physiotherapist working for the MK Dons football team.