August 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 19, 2013
Landlords Ben Ackers and Becky Lakeman-Turner have certainly made their mark in the city since they arrived at the White Lion pub in Oak Street nearly two years ago.
Last year the pub, which stocks 25 real ciders and perries and has eight real ales on pump, was named the first Norfolk Camra Cider Pub of the Year, before going on to win East Anglia Cider Pub of the Year for 2012.
And now the landlords have picked up three awards from Camra –Norwich and Norfolk City Pub of the Year, Norwich and Norfolk Cider Pub of the Year and a silver award in the East Anglian Cider Pub of the Year Competition.
Mr Ackers said: “When we took on the pub less than two years ago we never thought we would become so well-recognised for doing a good job so early on.
“We tried to bring something different to the city, and started a cider festival in 2011, to tie in with that year’s beer festival, and our cider festival is still going on, really.
“We are at a strange location in that we are not in the city centre, so you don’t get people coming here just to get wasted, but we are not a suburban pub either. We have been able to make ourselves a destination pub
“But it’s really still early days. In the next months we will be doing pretty much the same, and keeping the quality and service up.
“Becky is in charge of the kitchen, and she revamps the menu every week, which helps.”
Warren Wordsworth, chairman of the Norwich and Norfolk branch of Camra said they richly deserved the awards
He said: “We are very pleased that the White Lion has won these awards. It’s one of our best real ale pubs, and also has the biggest range of ciders in Norfolk; the number can only be beaten by going to the West Country.”
The couple have not stopped making the headlines, as next month, Miss Lakeman-Turner will be shaving her head for charity.
On Tuesday, July 30, between about 8.30 and 9pm, she will be losing her hair to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund, the testicular cancer charity and Arthur Rank Hospices. Her partner added: “We’re inviting people to come along to watch her have it all cut off in the pub.
“Last time she did this she raised over £1,000 and we’re hoping to surpass it this time.”
Prior to arriving in Norwich, Miss Lakeman-Turner spent five years as the chef at Cambridge University’s Magdalene College, where she cooked for Loyd Grossman, Mitchell and Webb and Clive Anderson.
Mr Ackers worked at pubs in Cambridge before coming to Norwich.