Renowned Kiwi chef sells one of his north Norfolk hotels in £1.5m deal

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:08 13 June 2018

The Ship Hotel in Brancaster has been sold the the Chaplin Group, which also owns the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich. Picture: Fleurets

The Ship Hotel in Brancaster has been sold the the Chaplin Group, which also owns the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich. Picture: Fleurets


A renowned north Norfolk coaching inn has been sold in a deal worth more than £1.5m, with its new owners planning to try and attract “discerning travellers”.

Chris Coubrough. Picture: ArchantChris Coubrough. Picture: Archant

The Ship Hotel in Brancaster has been snapped up by hospitality firm the Chaplin Group, which also owns Norwich’s historic Maids Head Hotel and the Gonville Hotel in Cambridge.

Property agency Fleurets, whose Eastern branch brokered the sale, said the hotel’s freehold, goodwill and trade contents were sold for an undisclosed amount “off an asking price of £1.6m”.

The hotel’s new website claims a “refreshing raft of changes” will be taking place in the coming months including new menus for the restaurant.

David Chaplin, director of the Chaplin Group, said: “The Ship is already a very successful operation and it will fit well with our Cambridge and Norwich hotels where we appeal to discerning travellers seeking excellent service and elegant surroundings.”

The Ship had been operated by Flying Kiwi Inns, run by renowned New Zealand chef Chris Coubrough, since 2009. As part of a refurbishment in 2010, nine en-suite bedrooms were added to the building.

Under Mr Coubrough’s leadership the business has achieved esteem among the community, and has been voted one of the best restaurants on Norfolk’s coast by Tripadvisor users.

Fellow Flying Kiwi Inns establishment, the Crown Hotel in Wells-next-the-Sea, will be unaffected by the sale.

Mr Coubrough said: “It was a pleasure to sell to such a professional set-up as David’s. We have loved our 10 years at The Ship and it will always be a special place for my wife and I.”

Simon Jackaman of Fleurets said: “Businesses of this quality rarely come to the market, so when this did, we were able to directly approach a number of operators who we knew would be the right type of operator.

“Despite some early competitive bidding, Chaplin Group were the perfect match for this outstanding property.

“The whole transaction from start to finish was concluded very quickly in order for the new owners to fully benefit from the up and coming seasonal trade.

“It was a pleasure to have acted for Chris, who will now focus all his energy into the Crown Hotel, and I wish both parties all the very best for the future.”

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