Village pub reveals boutique hotel plan with ‘secret’ spa garden and pottery
PUBLISHED: 15:03 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 22:26 07 April 2020
A village pub has lifted the lid on a £250,000 bid to turn it into a boutique spa hotel.
While work has been suspended at the Kings Head in Acle, near Great Yarmouth, due to the pandemic, the enterprising team behind the transformation say they will be forging ahead as soon as they can.
Paul James, from Leeds, who is working with James Bretnall Bennett, an experienced executive head chef who will operate the venue, said they already had six months of work under their belts which had seen changes to the bar and restaurant.
Frustratingly they ended up re-opening on the day of the lockdown meaning customers only had a few hours to see what was on offer.
However, plans for the luxury spa hotel were still very much alive.
Mr James, 45, who says both partners have a proven track record in creating award-winning venues, said work had started on the large garden where outbuilding barns would be transformed as part of a glamping zone complete with pizza oven, jacuzzi and secret spa garden.
“We both got together and decided the opportunities in Norfolk were rampant,” he said.
“We have £250,000 form the EI Group to turn it into a spa hotel.
“The bar was refurbished before Christmas and we opened the restaurant on the Friday of the lockdown. We opened at 7pm and shut at 11pm.”
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Under the plans one of the bar’s back rooms will become a paint your own pottery studio suitable for get togethers with a glass of fizz.
The pots will then be glazed on site.
The final phase of the transformation will involve the refurbishment of the seven bedrooms.
A public bar element will be retained under the new look and they aim to preserve the pub’s name in the rebranding as The Cowshed at the Kings Head.
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The duo, who also took on the Jolly Farmers in Ormesby St Margaret, a week before the lockdown said overall it had been “an unmitigated disaster” given the level of investment in both businesses.
Meanwhile, in a bid to stay connected to the local community, they have launched a roast dinner delivery service which saw 150 meals sent out on Sunday.
Buoyed by the feedback and demand they will also be delivering from the Jolly Farmers in Ormesby all weekend potentially reaching up to 500 homes.
In addition they plan to offer Get Baked - a cheesecake, dessert and milkshake takeaway, including alcoholic versions.
For more information visit the pubs’ Facebook pages.
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