'Anxious, exhausting year' - Assembly House to close for a month

The Assembly House in Norwich is launching Narnia-themed afternoon tea this Christmas with a private

The Assembly House in Norwich is launching Narnia-themed afternoon tea this Christmas with a private igloor available to hire Picture: The Assembly House - Credit: Archant

The historic Assembly House in Norwich has announced it will temporarily suspend some of its operations for a month from January. 

The hotel and restaurant will only be operating for bedroom guests and takeaway services from January 4. 

Bosses at the venue assured customers that Christmas plans remained unchanged and the business was not in peril. 

Richard Hughes, chef-restaurateur at the Assembly House, said: "The business is absolutely not in peril, we're simply having to look at the financials and we would incur a loss should we open our food and beverage operations in January."

Customers who may be impacted by the news are in the process of being contacted.


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Plans are currently under way to reopen the restaurant in Theatre Street from February 2021. 

Richard Hughes, of The Assembly House, will be judging Holden Renaults Cake Bake Off competition. Pi

Richard Hughes, of The Assembly House, will be judging Holden Renaults Cake Bake Off competition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Mr Hughes said: "Come hell or high water we will open in February if government guidelines allow.

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"We have taken this decision for the business long-term and will spend the time working on renovating some of our new luxury rooms. 

"This has been an incredibly difficult time for the industry as a whole and my thoughts are with the rest of the industry and its suppliers."

On Facebook, the Assembly House added: "Bedroom guests will be served afternoon tea and breakfast in their rooms and our Posh Drive-Thru will reopen for a limited service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when you will be able to pick up afternoon tea, afternoon cheese, birthday cakes, Richard Hughes’ Ready Meals and other treats.

"Our priority is to keep you and our staff safe and well and to protect as many jobs at The Assembly House as possible – to reopen without being able to welcome multiple households in what is traditionally the quietest month of the year is simply not viable for us at present, particularly with no extra financial help from the government and absolutely no certainty about what restrictions will be in the coming months.

"It has been an anxious, exhausting year for hospitality and the dark months continue for us all – please continue to support us, to support other local businesses and to look after yourselves and each other.

"We may be in the heart of the city, but it is our customers and our incredible, resilient, wonderful staff who are the heart of our business – we cherish you all."

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