Meet new team running village pub with Spanish twist
PUBLISHED: 12:49 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:59 29 January 2020
The new team at a popular pub and restaurant are bringing a touch of Spain to north Norfolk.
Landlord Nicolas Petre and manager Jose Manuel Cabrera Sanchez are introducing home-made Spanish food and imported wines to the menu at the Walpole Arms in Itteringham, near Aylsham.
Feedback has been positive since they took over before Christmas and they are closing for a week at the end of January in preparation for reopening with the Spanish look, from February 4.
Mr Petre said: "We are keeping the traditional British food and real ales but with Spanish tapas, ham, olives, chrorizo, and imported Spanish wines, so it will be a mix.
"We will upgrade things as well, with new equipment in the kitchen. I'll sometimes be the chef but mostly be front of house.
"We will also have Spanish decorations."
He hails from Majorca where he worked in British pubs and spent a long time catering to the needs of holiday-makers.
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He also runs the Olivares Tapas Bar in Castle Hill, Lincoln with wife Lucia, which has been open for six years and will continue to trade.
He added: "I always wanted to have a pub and was looking for one for two years.
"In the future we will also have bedrooms at The Walpole Arms and parties and weddings."
He plans to buy the £700,000 pub from its current owners, a farming family whose daughter will continue as a chef in the kitchen.
The pub dates back 300 years and once boasted a great reputation with customers travelling from Norwich and across Norfolk.
It was bought by the Harrold family in 2012 and they gave it a refurbishment including re-roofing, the installation of a new kitchen as well as improvements to the bar, dining area and gardens.
After a previous re-launch in 2001, it went on to win a string of awards, including the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand for 11 years running.
It changed hands in 2007 and went into administration just before Christmas in 2011 due to a downturn in trade and cash flow difficulties.