Surlingham pub scoops top community award

A young couple who have turned around the fortunes of a once-closed riverside pub have scooped the top prize at South Norfolk's Community Pub of the Year awards.

George and Natalie Linder, who reopened the doors of the Coldham Hall Tavern in Surlingham in March 2010 after an extensive seven-month refurbishment, said they were delighted to receive the accolade.

The annual competition, run by South Norfolk Council, asks customers to vote for their favourite pubs before a shortlist of five finalists are inspected by a touring panel of judges.

Mrs Linder, 31, said: 'We've only been open for a year-and-a-half so to be recognised for what we have done already is a real achievement.'

The pub, nestled on the edge of the Broads, had been closed since December 2008 and the husband and wife team were quick to rebuild its reputation as a picturesque spot to enjoy quality beers and food made from locally produced ingredients.

They even commissioned a new beer, named Yareside, to celebrate the pub's successful return and hosted their first beer festival in August.

Mr Linder, 29, said: 'It's hard work but it's rewarding. We're still trying to get the pub back to its former glory. About 20 or 30 years ago it was the place to be; that's what we want.'

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Other finalists included the King's Head in Bawburgh and the Green Dragon in Wymondham.

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If you have a pub story call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email