New era for Tunstead village pub
A village pub which once looked doomed to closure and conversion to homes will finally be reborn next month when it reopens as a bar and restaurant.The Horse and Groom in Tunstead has been closed for around a year-and-a-half after falling takings forced the brewery behind the pub to sell up.
A village pub which once looked doomed to closure and conversion to homes will finally be reborn next month when it reopens as a bar and restaurant.
The Horse and Groom in Tunstead has been closed for around a year-and-a-half after falling takings forced the brewery behind the pub to sell up.
A row over the development of the land ran through the local planning process, causing much upset in the village, with local residents concerned they would lose the pub completely. The original developer sold to a second developer and a more palatable plan has now come to fruition.
On February 9 the former pub will reopen as the Olive Branch bar and restaurant, a French-influenced eatery which will also welcome locals in for drinks and nibbles - although crisps and nuts will not be on the menu, replaced instead with bar snacks such as Feta cheese and olives.
One of the men behind the development, which includes four as yet unfinished semi detached three-bed homes behind the pub, is Ian Matthews, a director of Heritage Partners Development Company.
“We felt we could raise the gastronomic game in the area and I feel that is exactly what we have done,” said Mr Matthews.
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“It has got to where it has, with the French trained staff, the décor and the menu because of the amount of time I spend in France and my love of that country.
“It is very much a quality restaurant and the bar will be open to anyone who wants to come in for just a drink. The dart board and pool table have gone but the welcoming atmosphere will be here for all.”
Local suppliers will include Groveland at Roughton, White's Butchers in Aylsham and Brett's fruit and vegetables from Aylsham. The furthest the business has had to travel for its main products is Lowestoft for fish.
Laurent Joerger, the classically trained French chef who will manage the Olive Branch, said the restaurant would cater for around 70 covers.
“If anything the pressure is on me now, but we are determined to get things right, not just the food, but the quality of service, the excellent local suppliers, all of it.”
The Olive Garden will open for a parishioners evening on February 6, a private opening on February 8 and a full opening the next day.
Opening times are 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 11.30pm, closed all day Mondays and Sunday evenings.
Bookings, including for Valentine's Day at £35 a head, are being taken on 01603 737555 and email@example.com.