Hotel staff can't wait to welcome customers back

Golden Lion Hunstanton

Staff at the Golden Lion in Hunstanton are looking forward to welcoming customers back to its bars and restaurant as lockdown lifts - Credit: Chris Bishop

A landmark hotel is looking forward to welcoming customers back to its bars, restaurant and rooms from Monday.

The Golden Lion on the Green at Hunstanton closed last May after the collapse of its previous owners, coach firm Shearings.

It was bought by Bespoke Hotels , which reopened it as part of its flagship Coast and Country Collection.

Golden Lion Hotel

Giles Norwood with the team from the Golden Lion Hotel, at Hunstanon - Credit: Chris Bshop

For the last four weeks, the hotel has been serving food and drink al fresco to customers enjoying the sea views outside. 

"We've been doing outside offerings," said manager Giles Norwood. "It's been very popular - when it's not raining."

He added staff were excited about resuming socially-distanced service inside. 

"They're really looking forward to it," he said. "We've had some really busy days out here but they've been brilliant. The company has been brilliant as well at looking after us."

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Mr Norwood and around half of the Golden Lion's 30 staff worked at the hotel before Shearings went under.

Golden Lion

Giles Norwood, who ran a hotel in Cumbria for 10 years before moving to Norfolk landmark the Golden Lion - Credit: Chris Bishop

Mr Norwood, who has run the establishment for three years, said he was "optimistic" about the future.

"We're moving forward from Monday," he said. "We're also opening for all family functions, weddings - we're almost fully-booked until the end of the summer."   

Diners can expect everything from hotdogs and homemade burgers to a la carte. But Mr Norwood said its most popular dish remained the nation's favourite seaside staple, fish and chips.

The Golden Lion, with 29 bedrooms, many with stunning views across The Wash, has dominated The Green since it was built in 1847 from local carrstone.

It was the first building to be built in Hunstanton as part of Henry Le Strange’s vision of creating a new seaside resort on what was then a remote outcrop on the Norfolk coast where The Wash meets the North Sea.

The remainder of the town rapidly sprang up around it with the coming of the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton railway in 1862 and the booming popularity of sea bathing.