Pub of the week: The King’s Head in Hethersett
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Despite tough times for pubs, the people behind the King's Head in Hethersett, near Norwich, see themselves as a growing success story.
And they put that success down to several factors – great staff, great food and drink, and the appeal of a pub that dates back hundreds of years.
The pub has a strong following of supportive local drinkers who like nothing better, when the dining room is cleared on a Friday evening, than to have a bit of a laugh and a singalong to the landlady's favourite album by Petula Clark.
Adrian Harvey and Susan Whitmore have managed the pub together for four years, but the female side of the partnership has been working there for 20 years. Mr Harvey spent 28 years working at ITV, lastly as a technical co-ordinator.
'We came to babysit here for two weeks and have been here ever since,' he said.
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'I like it because it's a sociable job. It's nice to see people come out, have a good time and enjoy themselves. We welcome people in and we like to get involved with our customers.
'We are one of the few old pubs left. There are just two pubs and a social club in Hethersett.
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'We think we have a really good mix of drink and food. We've been in Camra's Good Beer Guide for the last few years. We've got four hand pulls, which we have worked out through experimentation.
'And people come from up to 20 miles away for our food.'
The pub has also recently been extensively refurbished.
Mr Harvey added: 'We've done all the kitchen and have received the top grade rating for food. We've had all new carpets, redecorated and painted the inside and had furniture reupholstered. It's an ongoing programme of refurbishment and we will be doing the outside in the summer.
'We already have children's play equipment and all new furniture for al fresco dining outside. And we've probably got one of the best smoking areas in the county.'
Miss Whitmore said she's been at the pub so long she's now part of the 'fixtures and fittings'.
'It's always been a friendly little pub, a proper village pub,' she said. 'We have a good mix of drinkers and food customers and everyone's very helpful.
'If you shout out 'bottle bin' then someone will invariably empty it; so we are very lucky that way.'