Much-loved Sheringham restaurant closes after 36 years

Terry and Margaret Butler, front, at Crofters in Sheringham with with a group of longstanding customers. 

Terry and Margaret Butler, front, at Crofters in Sheringham with with a group of longstanding customers. - Credit: Supplied by Terry Butler

The people behind one of north Norfolk's most unique restaurants have closed their doors.

Terry and Margaret Butler, both 65, have retired from running Crofters in Sheringham's High Street after 36 years. 

They took over the restaurant when Mr Butler returned from 10 years working as a chef in Austria and Germany, and cuisine from Vienna, Berlin and the Black Forest quickly became favourites on Crofters' menu. 

Terry Butler, who is back in the kitchen of his High Street restaurant, a month after being forced t

Terry Butler, who has retired from Crofters in Sheringham's High Street. - Credit: KAREN BETHELL

Mr Butler said: "I started serving a few Austrian and German dishes and they became so popular we were getting people from King's Lynn and Peterborough coming over for them - there weren't many places serving that in this part of the country.

"A lot of customers had never had that kind of food before and they couldn't believe how flavoursome it is, and the portions were large.

Crofters in Sheringham. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

File photo of Crofters in Sheringham, which has now closed. - Credit: STUART ANDERSON


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"People who had never had something like sauerkraut before thought it was unbelievable."

Currywurst, Kaiserschmarrn and Bavarian belly of pork were among Crofters' popular Austrian and German dishes. 

Mr Butler said they also served a range of cuisine from other parts of the world including Moroccan fillets, as well as anything that did well. "If you're in a small community like Sheringham, you have to satisfy all people from seven to 70," he said. 

Terry and Margaret Butler, centre, with Margaret's sister. 

Terry and Margaret Butler, centre, with Margaret's sister at Crofters in Sheringham. - Credit: Supplied by Terry Butler

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"We used to have a six-page menu and it was all cooked fresh to order."

The past three years have brought some big challenges for the business.  

A huge sinkhole which opened in the High Street right in front of Crofters proved a major headache, closing the restaurant for months.

Terry Butler, at Crofters in Sheringham with son, David.

Terry Butler, at Crofters in Sheringham with son, David. - Credit: Supplied by Terry Butler

Mr Butler said: "That was a massive challenge - we couldn't trade at all and we were struggling because insurance didn't recognise sinkholes." 

And like the rest of the hospitality industry, the Butlers had to find ways of serving their customers throughout the pandemic.

"I'm overwhelmed by the support that we've had from people in Sheringham," Mr Butler said.

Terry Butler, at Crofters in Sheringham with Jess Allen, who used to work there.

Terry Butler, at Crofters in Sheringham with Jess Allen, who used to work there. - Credit: Supplied by Terry Butler

 "Throughout the lockdown we were doing takeaways, and a lot of loyal customers became good friends."

The couple are planning to stay in the Sheringham area, spend more time with their adult children and travel. 



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