Restaurant firm Brasted's takes over Caistor Hall Hotel
- Credit: Brasted's/Archant
Catering firm Brasted's has purchased the Caistor Hall Hotel in Norfolk after months of negotiations.
The grand Georgian hotel, in Caistor St Edmund, south of Norwich, is now owned by directors Nick Mills, Chris ‘Buzz’ Busby, and Sian de Waal, who are based at the firm's venue in Framingham Pigot.
They plan to fully reopen Caistor Hall by Brasted's in early July. The hotel is set in 32 acres of woodland, built for the Dashwood family and used as a hotel since 1947.
Brasted's hopes to create a new spa, expand the hotel with more bedrooms and suites and develop the restaurant and events space.
The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, comes after the hotel relaunched in 2019 renamed as 'The Boudicca' boasting newly refurbished interiors and owned by Sayed Ahmad Agha, a London property developer.
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After the management changed, it was rebranded back as the Caistor Hall Hotel in February 2020. The owner promised yet another refurbishment costing £4m but then coronavirus struck and it had to close just weeks later.
New owner Mr Busby said: “The success of Brasted’s has always relied on four things - outstanding food and drink, exceptional service and opulent decor and our plans for Caistor Hall revolve around that.
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"We will be opening almost immediately with the Brasted’s bistro and afternoon teas.
"Looking to the future, we have exciting plans to further develop our restaurant offering as well as breathing life into other parts of the stunning building with the creation of a luxury spa and additional bedrooms and suites.”
Co-owner Ms de Waal, who joined Brasted's as general manager two years ago, said: “This is a truly stunning building with a rich history for Norfolk. We have already spoken to so many people whose parents or grandparents got married here or have fond memories of visiting the hall.
"We plan to develop the event spaces over time, firstly by refurbishing the current space with capacity of up to 400 guests. However, our long-term plan is to create a magnificent new event space which will be unique to the UK."
The acquisition of Caistor Hall is an addition to Brasted's' existing businesses and its fine-dining restaurant and boutique accommodation will remain open for business as usual.
Co-owner Mr Mills said Brasted's had been hit like others in hospitality by coronavirus.
"Brasted’s has been hit hard. We are determined to bounce back strongly...therefore integral to our plans is the formation of our Hospitality Academy where we can support and train new recruits to this fabulous industry in which we are all proud to have built our careers”.
Recent history of the Caistor Hall Hotel
The hotel had closed and a major refurbishment went on before it reopened at Easter 2019 boasting new interiors. It offered a new whisky lounge, in the old library, sponsored by the English Whisky Company and a garden room, sponsored by Veuve Clicquot champagne.
But the following year, following a management change, it relaunched as the Caistor Hall Hotel again but with a new chef, a newly named Palm restaurant and a promise to become a 'destination hotel.'
Despite further problems, owner Mr Agha refused to sell the building and said he was looking at a £4m expansion plan introducing glamping, a permanent marquee enabling conferences of up to 600 people and an extension, building 60-70 more bedrooms, adding to the current 21.
But then coronavirus struck, forcing the hotel to close.
It will now reopen under the new ownership of Brasted's.
John Brasted, known as 'JB' founded Brasted’s in 1984. Brasted’s was originally a 22 cover restaurant, in St Andrews Hill, Norwich.
It gained three AA rosettes and expanded into outside catering. In 1999, Mr Brasted and Nick Mills, managing director, created Brasted’s Barns in Framingham Pigot.
In 2004 Brasted’s Restaurant opened and in 2005, executive chef Chris Busby (known as Buzz) won EDP Norfolk chef of the year and Brasted’s won Norfolk restaurant of the year.
In September 2009 Brasted’s Lodge was created; six individually designed en suite bedrooms.
In 2010 it was awarded two AA Rosettes, five AA stars for Brasted’s Lodge and in September won the EDP Norfolk Restaurant of the Year.