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First look inside Norwich pub following £130,000 makeover

PUBLISHED: 17:19 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:47 06 September 2019

Landlords Pete Harvey and Frances Chisholm are preparing to reopen The Wildman in Norwich after a major refurbishment. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Landlords Pete Harvey and Frances Chisholm are preparing to reopen The Wildman in Norwich after a major refurbishment. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Archant

Brown walls and wooden stools have been swapped for plush sofas and plants as The Wildman pub in Norwich reopens with new landlords following an £130,000 refurbishment.

The Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Lauren De BoiseThe Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Lauren De Boise

The historic pub, located at 29 Bedford Street, dates back to the 1700s but in the last few years the building's lease with Punch Pubs and Co was coming to an end.

In December 2018, an ambitious new vision for the pub was put forward by East Anglian operations manager Charlie Ashwell and the company decided to renew the lease for another 20 years.

After choosing couple Pete Harvey and Frances Chisholm to run The Wildman, over the last month it has been completely transformed with modern decor, which has been inspired by the Peter the Wild Boy fable.

The pub got its name from a boy who was found living in a German forest and was brought to England aged 12 and by 1751 had found himself in Bridewell prison in Norwich.

The Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The WildmanThe Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The Wildman

The new look includes plants, sourced from Botanical at Norwich Market, light bulbs hanging down from the ceiling, a mirror wall and teal and pastel pink walls.

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Ms Chisholm said: "We fell in love with the history and we love the fact it is really cosy and intimate.

"The decor is almost unrecognisable, as before everything was brown and very traditional but now it is modern, fresh and quirky."

Landlords Pete Harvey and Frances Chisholm are preparing to reopen The Wildman in Norwich after a major refurbishment. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Landlords Pete Harvey and Frances Chisholm are preparing to reopen The Wildman in Norwich after a major refurbishment. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

In the day, the pub will serve coffees, teas and pastries, with USB plugs for laptops, and from 4pm to 8pm, and until close on Friday, will be Cocktail Club where you can get two for £10 or a double gin and mixer and they also serve a range of spirits, beers and wines.

There will be bar snacks in the evening, such as nachos and chicken wings, and it is also dog friendly with biscuits on the bar.

Mr Harvey, originally from Doncaster, said: "I have been in hospitality for 18 years and we always planned to come back here as my partner is from Norwich.

READ MORE: Take a look inside the first M&S bar opened in Norwich

The Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The WildmanThe Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The Wildman

"We are real pub-goers and take influences from everywhere we've been and with the refurbishment we wanted to tell the story of Peter the Wild Boy and give people an immersive experience and play on the forestry element.

"We will be showing sport but we are not a sports bar, it will just be an additional reason to visit."

Charlie Ashwell, operations manager for East Anglia at Punch Pubs and Co, said: "We are now injecting a new lease of life and have invested £130,000 - it is a great space and when we I met Pete and Frances I call it a goosebump moment as I knew in a minute they would take this pub."

The Wildman pub reopens on Saturday from 11.30am.

The Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The WildmanThe Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The Wildman

The Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The WildmanThe Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The Wildman

The Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The WildmanThe Wildman in Norwich is reopening after a major refurbishment. Picture: Supplied by The Wildman



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