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It is a matter of more than science to run an Oulton Broad hotel

Ivy house Country Hotel, Oulton Broad.
Venue for upcoming EDP Wedding show.
Hotel owner, Adrian Parton.

Ivy house Country Hotel, Oulton Broad. Venue for upcoming EDP Wedding show. Hotel owner, Adrian Parton.

©Archant 2014

Dr Adrian Parton is a man who relishes a challenge.

Ivy house Country Hotel, Oulton Broad.
Venue for upcoming EDP Wedding show. Ivy house Country Hotel, Oulton Broad. Venue for upcoming EDP Wedding show.

Once described as “a serial entrepreneur”, his latest venture has seen him take over and transform an award-winning hotel in a scenic corner of the Broads.

But while he may be new to the hospitality trade, his attention to detail is nothing if not scientific.

That will not be surprising to those who know him because Dr Parton’s business background has seen him invent a water filter that kills a fatal parasite – an achievement that saw him made an MBE in 2011.

But the 50-year-old biochemist and molecular virology expert is relishing his first venture into the hotel industry after he took over the Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad last summer in a £2m deal.

Ivy house Country Hotel, Oulton Broad.
Venue for upcoming EDP Wedding show. Ivy house Country Hotel, Oulton Broad. Venue for upcoming EDP Wedding show.

Dr Parton, from Cambridge, has also spent £800,000 on refurbishing and improving facilities at the hotel, including a new bar and lounge, new-look bedrooms and kitchen and purchasing new land for its picturesque grounds.

And the work only took seven weeks – in contrast to his experience running successful companies such as Klinisep, which provides rapid diagnostics for the health service and Objective Imaging, which provides automated scanning equipment.

The father of five, who was educated at Cambridge University, said: “To me it was so refreshing to get something done in seven weeks – for my other businesses there are so many regulations involved it can seem to take months and years to get things done.

“I am getting a real buzz from being involved in the hotel. It is the first time I have been involved in a hotel as I have always been involved with businesses with a scientific background. I find the whole process very exciting – from providing Sunday dinners to arranging weddings.”

Dr Parton was persuaded to buy the hotel as his cousin, Keith Parton, is a chef who trained under Marco Pierre-White and always praised the virtues of getting involved in the hotel industry at family gatherings.

After selling off two of his companies, Cronto, which provided transaction authentication services, and Matrix MicroScience, which provided food, biothreat and environmental diagnostics, Dr Parton could devote time to setting up his latest venture.

He took on his cousin as manager at Ivy House, which has 20 bedrooms and was already a 3 AA Star hotel.

Dr Parton is proud of the fact he has opened the hotel to people in the Lowestoft area who can enjoy walks in its tranquil settings and use its bar, which is named after his mother Eve, and its spacious restaurant.

He said: “When we started we had a handful of people for our Sunday lunches and now we have more than 100 people coming. When I purchased the hotel I wanted to open it up to local people as it is a beautiful setting. Many people did not know the hotel was even here.”

The next stage of Dr Parton’s plans for the 16th Century building and its grounds has started, with the arrival of a marquee this week which will be used to hold 250 people for fully-catered wedding receptions.

Dr Parton was made an MBE for inventing the Filta-Max, which kills cryptosporidium, a bug which causes diarrhoea and can prove fatal.

He also invented the Patharix pathogen testing system, which was taken up by Cadbury following a salmonella scare. On Sunday, the Ivy House Country Hotel will be holding its first EDP wedding show, with 50 exhibitors between 11am and 4pm.

Are you starting a new business venture? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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