January 30 2015 Latest news:
Saturday, May 10, 2014
The owners of a Broadland hotel have taken their investment to £1.5m over the past year after opening a new events pavilion in its picturesque grounds.
James Holliday and his wife Anna Duttson, both 40, are thrilled by the public response to the work they have carried out at the Norfolk Mead Hotel in Coltishall since they took over in February last year.
Three days after they bought it, a team of 22 local builders, decorators and painters moved in to carry out a six-week revamp, giving every room, including the 11 bedrooms, a modern chic makeover.
Now the second stage of their vision - the £750,000 Garden Room - has been completed.
Mr Holliday said: “We have incorporated the garden wall in the design and people love it.
“We only opened it on April 18 and we have already got 62 events booked over the next two years, including a funeral, wedding and christening over the next eight days.”
He said the venue - which can accommodate 120 people seated or 220 standing - was perfect for all kinds of functions from Christmas parties to team building and corporate events.
Mr Holliday, whose wife also runs a successful events management business, said: “From the very start we have been delighted by our ratings on TripAdvisor for both the hotel and restaurant.”
He said they had tripled the workforce since taking over, now employing 15 full-time and 15 temporary staff.
They had put a big emphasis on food - “all produce within 25 miles of the hotel” - and 50pc of restaurant customers were local people.
“Anna is the executive chef and she has five chefs under her,” he said.
Two and three course Sunday lunches have become increasingly popular and the hotel also does a thriving trade in afternoon teas.
He said: “I would describe our menu as modern British. We have been awarded one AA rosette and we are trying for our second.”
The majority of hotel guests are currently leisure travellers although there is a growning corporate trade, which includes engineers working at Bacton gas terminal.
Mr Holliday said: “The hotel is a great location, it just needed some investment to bring it back up to standard.
“In the future, I would like to bring other things to the area, such as a spa complex close to the hotel.”
Have you revived a Norfolk tourism business? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Around 2,000 Tesco workers discovered their jobs were at risk after the supermarket giant disclosed the locations of 43 store closures including two in Essex - a Homeplus store at Chelmsford and a smaller store in Heybridge.