Award-winning chef to turn Wymondham pub with chequered past into upmarket French eatery

Chef Mark Dixon has been renovating the old Queens Head pub in Wymondham. He will be turning into a

Chef Mark Dixon has been renovating the old Queens Head pub in Wymondham. He will be turning into a new restaurant called Kindreds. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

An award-winning chef is hoping to give a Wymondham pub with a chequered past a bright future as he turns it into an upmarket French restaurant.

Chef Mark Dixon has been renovating the old Queens Head pub in Wymondham. He will be turning into a

Chef Mark Dixon has been renovating the old Queens Head pub in Wymondham. He will be turning into a new restaurant called Kindreds. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Mark Dixon will open Kindreds in the former Queen's Head site, on Bridewell Street, at the start of February after a speedy two-month renovation.

The 32-year-old, who was crowned EDP Chef of the Year in 2013, runs the popular Kings Arms in Fleggburgh and said its success meant he was ready to tackle expansion.

'I won the chef of the year award and then opened the restaurant, which has gone from strength to strength,' he said. 'We are always busy now and it's been two years so I was ready to do something else.

'This seemed ideal - it's far enough away that I won't be competing with myself and it's a great location.'

The mainly Victorian pub, a listed building with 450-year-old beams, has had a mixed reputation in the town after police swooped in a drugs raid in 2014 and arrested nine people.

But Mr Dixon, who trained at the Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, said he was confident customers would come with an open mind.

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'It's so completely different in here that I'm not worried at all,' he said. 'Pretty much the only thing that's the same is the beams - we've changed a lot.'

Family and friends are now busy putting the final touches to the restaurant, which is named after Mr Dixon's grandmother and will serve French and European cuisine.

Yarmouth-born Mr Dixon hopes, over the next couple of years, to turn the upstairs into boutique bedrooms and a large function room.

'There's plenty of potential here, and we're in a great location right off the market square in this lovely town,' he said. 'I'm looking forward to getting started.'

For more information or to book a table, call 01953 601872.

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