Big names in Norfolk food take over golf club restaurant

Simon Wainwright and Jason Metcalf of Clubhouse SW1 at Gorleston Golf Club.

Chefs Simon Wainwright and Jason Metcalf have taken on the clubhouse at Gorleston Golf Club, Clubhouse SW1, expanding the restaurant brand that has been so successful at Gorleston riverside. - Credit: supplied by Simon Wainwright

An award-winning chef is taking over the restaurant at a prestigious Links golf club.

Simon Wainwright will relaunch the clubhouse at Gorleston Golf Club on Monday alongside Jason Metcalf of the Norwich Assembly House, who lives in Belton.

Both chefs graduated from Great Yarmouth's Imperial Hotel, Mr Wainwright going on to open his own restaurant in Gorleston SW1 four years ago.

He said he was excited to take on the 800-member golf club as the current restauranteur steps into retirement after 20 years. 

Mr Wainwright said he expects it to be 'next April' before things start picking up. Photo: Simon Wai

Simon Wainwright is the face at the helm of the food offer at Gorleston Golf Club. - Credit: Archant

He stressed there would be no effect on SW1 on the quayside which opens evenings only Tuesday to Saturday.

The father-of-two said he was delighted to win the contract describing it as "too good an opportunity to miss."

"There were quite a few people that went for it but after several interviews and discussions they chose me to take it over.

"What's nice is that it is two Gorleston businesses coming together in the times that we are in.

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Simon Wainwright is expanding his SW1 brand by taking over the clubhouse at Gorleston Golf Club. - Credit: James Bass

The watering hole, which will be known as Clubhouse SW1 will  be open all day, every day, and will cater for a string of functions as well as breakfasts and lunches.

The club is members only, but guests can be signed in.

As well as a light revamp the menu has been overhauled to chime with the golfing theme serving dishes called the golfer's grill, the bunker burger, and the club sandwich.

He also takes over the halfway hut which offers refreshments at the 10th hole.

"We want to bring SW1 standards to the club," he said.

"It is a very busy place, very popular, and some people go there every day.

"SW1 has always been a family and when I worked at The Imperial Hotel they were like my family and that is how I want it to be at the golf club. There are some really nice people there that have worked there a long time."

"We have a very good business at SW1 and there is no reason why I can't make it work there.

"I am still fairly young and I have some good ideas. It is a lovely, lovely place on the cliffs, the restaurant is really nice."

He added the general manager Gillian Fowler was also formerly from The Imperial Hotel, completing the family.