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‘We have turned our back on being a café’: Historic hotel makes restaurant announcement

PUBLISHED: 10:07 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:12 15 January 2020

Hannah Springham and partner Andrew Jones at the Dial House, Reepham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Hannah Springham and partner Andrew Jones at the Dial House, Reepham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A historic Norfolk hotel and restaurant has changed its opening hours with bosses vowing to “concentrate on what we do best”.

Mussels were added to the menu at The Dial House following requests from customers. Picture: The Dial HouseMussels were added to the menu at The Dial House following requests from customers. Picture: The Dial House

A historic Norfolk hotel and restaurant has changed its opening hours with bosses vowing to "concentrate on what we do best".

The Dial House, in Reepham, previously hosted a restaurant, shop and hotel - however managers at the site have decided to drop some of the café aspects of the venue.

Hannah Springham took over The Dial House in 2018 - having had success with her Norwich-based restaurant The Farmyard.

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The Dial House wants to focus more on its service offering.  Picture: Mark Bullimore PhotographyThe Dial House wants to focus more on its service offering. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

She said: "We've made this decision because we'd like to offer more of a destination to customers with bistro-level food but at an affordable price. "The restaurant was previously a difficult environment to manage because it had both the café and dining aspects - so you had people having coffee beside people having full-course meals. We had some feedback about that and after a year and a half made the decision to focus more on the dining aspect."

As a result the restaurant will now only serve breakfast and afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as being open for lunch and dinner service from Tuesday to Sunday.

The restaurant will also now be closed on Mondays, though bed and breakfast will still be available.

"We've had some criticism which has been heart-breaking," Ms Springham added. "I think some people felt that we didn't care as much about our café customers which isn't remotely the case. We're community focussed - we've changed and added to our menu because of feedback we've had from customers.

Dishes which have been on offer at The Dial House.  Picture: Mark Bullimore PhotographyDishes which have been on offer at The Dial House. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

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"What we learned with the Farmyard was that customers loved the high-quality service and we wanted to give our staff the time to learn the wine menu, the ingredients and the allergy lists and so on.

"If we as business owners didn't learn from our successes at the Farmyard then we wouldn't be doing a very good job. What we want to do is create a unique and sustainable offering for this area."

On Instagram The Dial House added: "We are turning our backs on being a café ... in order to concentrate on what we do best."


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