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‘I had to say no to hugs’ - Locals delighted as pub reopens with fresh look

PUBLISHED: 09:20 18 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:20 18 July 2020

Proprietor Henry Watt outside The Honingham Buck which has reopened after lockdown Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Proprietor Henry Watt outside The Honingham Buck which has reopened after lockdown Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

The Honingham Buck has finally reopened after lockdown to the delight of customers, 10 days later than planned due to a leak, and it has also been given a refurbishment.

Grant Freeman, head chef Terry Balme, proprietor Henry Watt and Cormac Gonzalez outside The Honingham Buck Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANGrant Freeman, head chef Terry Balme, proprietor Henry Watt and Cormac Gonzalez outside The Honingham Buck Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The pub, nestled in the quiet village of Honingham off the A47, was taken over by Yarmouth-based Lacons Brewery in 2015 in partnership with Norfolk entrepreneur Henry Watt, who also runs the SugarBeat Eating House in Swainsthorpe.

Together they completely transformed the pub, which included adding eight bedrooms and hiring top chefs, and before lockdown Mr Watt said they were “looking forward to a bumper year”.

Their plans for 2020 were put on hold when they were forced to shut their doors in March, deciding not to “roll the dice” and do takeaways as Mr Watt felt it was safer for staff to stay on furlough.

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During lockdown, the inside of The Honingham Buck has been repainted Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANDuring lockdown, the inside of The Honingham Buck has been repainted Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

With the government easing restrictions, they had planned to reopen on July 4, but the date was delayed when they discovered a leak behind the bar and had to fit a new floor.

The Honingham Buck finally reopened on July 14 and it has also been given a refresh both inside and out.

Mr Watt said: “On our opening night we had so many of our regulars drinking in the garden and they were so happy we were open again, but I had to say no to hugs because of social distancing.

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The bedrooms at The Honingham Buck have also been refurbished, with people already booking for staycations Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe bedrooms at The Honingham Buck have also been refurbished, with people already booking for staycations Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“We have had people coming in for dinner and our rooms are already getting booked up for breaks with people looking to visit during summer.

“We have repainted the pub, put new furniture in the bedrooms and replanted and relandscaped the garden.”

To adhere to social distancing, they are using track and trace, there are arrows on the paths and all guests are taken to their tables, even if they are sitting in the garden.

Terry Balme, head chef, said: We’ve got new dishes to be rolled out but the first couple of weeks we didn’t want to go too over the top, so we’ve got some nice summery dishes at the moment along with our pub classics.”

The pub opening was delayed from July 4 to 14 after they discovered a leak so needed to get a new floor fitted behind the bar Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe pub opening was delayed from July 4 to 14 after they discovered a leak so needed to get a new floor fitted behind the bar Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The Honingham Buck garden has also been relandscaped Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe Honingham Buck garden has also been relandscaped Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN


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