May 25 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 15, 2013
The Cottage in Thorpe St Andrew is known for good food and friendly staff, and landlord Ian Perry hopes its reputation will see them through tough times.
Many pubs take on the character of the area they’re located in, and The Cottage in Thunder Lane sums up Thorpe St Andrew pretty well. It’s a lovely area and the regulars are nice and friendly, too.
Ian Perry has been the licensee at the pub for about 10 years. When he took it on, the pub was on its knees. But he has built it up into a popular community pub with a good reputation, especially for food.
He worked for Marsh insurance brokers in Norwich before he took the pub on, but he had previously dabbled part-time in the trade.
He said: “When I took it on it was a bit of a spit and sawdust-type pub, but we refurbished it and did it up.
“I knew it had been a good pub before.
“I wanted to turn it back into a community pub, with good food.
“We have a big function room so we do a lot of weddings and wakes. You have to do as much as you can now. We are on a big plot and we need to generate cash to pay for it.
“But I cannot do anything other than what other pubs do. We just have to do everything as well as we can. That’s why we have to make the most of such events as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”
Mr Perry’s children Abigail, nine, and Imogen, six, were both born at the pub, which means it will always have a special place in his heart. And as soon as he arrived, they bought a pub dog.
He added: “It’s a lovely area and the people around here are friendly. Our staff are really good. Most have been here as long as I have, or even longer, in the case of function manager, Jayne Lovewell. She’s been here about 17 years.
“It’s a completely different business now than when I started 10 years ago, which is partly down to the government. But we have seen most of the competition off. We keep at it. We have been here a long time. We keep decorating the inside and outside of the pub as often as we can. All our suppliers are local and we normally have about three real ales on.”
The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
To see more stores from the campaign, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal