May 25 2013 Latest news:
It is a family affair as the Harrolds take over the Walpole Arms pub at Itteringham. Front row, left to right, Lydia, Louise and Danni. Back row, left to right, Nina, Michael, Oliver and Adam Clarke from Larking Gowen. Picture: SUBMITTED
Monday, February 27, 2012
A Norfolk family with farming roots and catering experience has taken over an award-winning gastro pub which went into administration.
The Harrolds have bought the Walpole Arms at Itteringham, and are currently refurbishing it ready for a spring reopening.
The family has been farming at nearby Oulton since the 1930s and will be using their own land and other local producers to supply for the re-launched business.
Nina Harrold and brother Oliver will be involved in the day-to-day running. Nina originally worked for Galton Blackiston at Morston Hall and has also worked in catering establishments in Australia and London.
Michael Harrold said: “Our aim will be to focus on the best seasonal produce grown and raised locally from our own farm and other top quality producers. We want to deliver great food at a realistic price.
“We also want to make sure the Walpole Arms is returned to tip top condition, which is why we are carrying out a major renovation and refurbishment project. Once that is complete we look forward to opening its doors and welcoming customers both old and new.”
The revamp includes re-roofing, installation of a complete new kitchen as well as improvements to the bar, dining area and gardens.
The 18th century inn was last re-launched in 2001 after which it went on to win a string of awards, including the prestigious Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand for 11 years running.
It changed hands in 2007 and went into administration just before Christmas due to a downturn in trade and cash flow difficulties. Administrators, who had it on the market with a guide price of £750,000, reported keen interest and were always confident of a sale.
Joint administrator Adam Clarke from Larking Gowen said: “The Walpole Arms enjoyed a great reputation and we were always optimistic of being able to find a buyer and are delighted to have done it so quickly.
“We are also pleased to have sold it to local people who understand what the pub, and the area, is all about.”
As the gates to the Royal Hospital Gardens at Chelsea opened to the world’s media yesterday, with a frenzy of activity as photographers and camera crews vied for the best vantage points, there was also a very palpable sense of relief among the hundreds of nurserymen and women who have come to exhibit their prize horticultural specimens that their stands were complete and looking their very best.