December 21 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The owner of The Lodge in North Tuddenham, one of Norfolk’s most popular pub restaurants, aims to repeat her successful formula in a nearby village.
A major refurbishment of the former Fox and Hounds in Lyng is being carried out ahead of its re-opening on March 1 as The Fox at Lyng.
Victoria King, 36, who has run The Lodge since 2007, has already recruited 10 staff for her new venture.
She said: “The Fox and Hounds, previously a pub run by Enterprise Inns, had been closed for over 12 months. We were approached by the man who bought the building to see if we were interested in leasing it and running it as a business.”
Mrs King, who works in partnership with her husband Gavin Hunt, 39, said the property’s revamp included knocking out internal walls to make it “open plan and a lot more friendly”.
She said they would be retaining The Lodge’s food philosophy - “everything you eat is local produce and home cooking, we even still peel our own potatoes” - but there would also be differences.
“We want to give people a reason to visit another pub just four miles away from The Lodge,” she said
“The head chef Michael Mann, who has taken promotion from The Lodge where he worked for five years, will bring his own distinctive style.”
Mrs King, who has worked in the catering industry since she left school, is proud to have built up the reputation of The Lodge to the point where it is number one on Tripadvisor for bars and restaurants in the Dereham area.
“We received a commendation of excellence from Tripadvisor for 2013,” she said.
“Thanks to Tripadvisor our customers are increasingly coming from further afield and tell us they looked up the best place to eat on their travels from A to B.”
She said their reputation was based on “very good pub favourites”, such as beer-battered fish and chips and hand-made burgers, together with a popular a la carte menu - “good quality cooking with a modern twist”.
Mrs King said: “Because The Fox is in the middle of the village we want it to retain the feel of a local pub.
“The front bar where drinkers go is going to be pretty much unchanged.”
She said Adnams would be given a high profile in its beer offer because of its popularity, but they would also be bringing in beers from small local micro breweries.
Mrs King said: “You hear a lot of stories about pubs struggling but the last two years has seen us go from strength to strength. It shows you can be successful if you get it right”
She added there was definite signs of the economy picking up with people having the confidence to start going out again.