Broads' pub to reopen for Christmas after £150,000 makeover

The Jolly Farmers in Ormesby St Margaret

Locals are watching with interest at the transformation underway at The Jolly Farmers in Ormesby St Margaret which is being rebranded as The Farmers. - Credit: Liz Coates

A country pub is preparing to re-open after an eight-week transformation as a fine-dining "destination" - and is already fielding a flurry of bookings.

The team behind the new offer in Ormesby St Margaret say at its heart it will remain a village local, but had "upped its game" in terms of decor and food.

Announcing the new era was a name change from The Jolly Farmers to simply The Farmers  - chiming with its new focus on locally produced food.

The Jolly Farmers now The Farmers

The new logo at the former Jolly Farmers pub in Ormesby St Margaret, which has dropped the 'jolly'. Third Place Inns say they want it to be 'the third place' people meet and socialise after home and work. - Credit: Third Place Inns

Paul James, of Third Place Inns, said it had always been his intention to transform the pub  since he took it over just as the pandemic hit in March 2020.

"There has been a lot of interest and a lot of people looking through the windows saying they are happy to see a local pub being returned to the village, " he said.

Overall, he said the pub would be "a different animal" with a new decked area creating an "outside-in" ethos.

Although people will be able to eat at every table there will still be stools at the bar and a pub feel.

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Most of the extra 60 covers were coming from the new plant-fringed outdoor area protected by a canopy and warmed by heaters and an outdoor fire, and the revamped barn.

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Flashback: The Jolly Farmers name will pass into history as it is renamed The Farmers. - Credit: Archant

"We want to make it a home  for the locals and a destination for people  to dine," he added.

The pub is being completely redecorated inside and out with a new, extended kitchen and bathrooms.

The booth seating is being recovered and chandeliers will add a glamourous twist to the country feel.

Under the changes the bar is slightly shorter to allow for a food serving area.

The pub plans to reopen on December 2.

Initially the food offer will be limited to a two or three course Christmas menu priced at £21 and £26.

In the New Year however, the aim is to focus on vegetarian and vegan food with a constantly evolving menu.

"We already have people ringing up and we are 30pc full before anyone has even seen the menu," Mr James said.

Under phase two a "proper pub garden" with a grassed area will be added.

Booking is via Facebook or through the website when it launches.