Norwich pub and distillery hopes for accolade following refurbishment

Patrick Fisher outside The Ten Bells.

Patrick Fisher outside The Ten Bells. - Credit: Archant

A city-centre pub has been nominated for a national award after a recent refurbishment which included Norfolk's first gin distillery.

The Ten Bells has been nominated for a national award.

The Ten Bells has been nominated for a national award. - Credit: Archant

Owners of The Ten Bells, on St Benedict's Street, will hope to be shortlisted for this year's Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, which celebrates the best designs of food and beverage spaces.

Ten Bells licensee Patrick Fisher said: 'This is important recognition because while it means a lot to us to be acknowledged locally, this is national acclaim.'

The premises, designed by Drew Twyman of Birmingham-based Tibbatts Abel, consist of three individual buildings knocked into one with improved joined-up space.

A previously unused rear area of the building has become the home of the gin distillery, the first in Norfolk, while wall art has been added that pays tribute to building's former uses as a bank and pharmacy.

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'Everyone that knows me knows that as well as my passion for real ale, I also have a fondness for a gin and tonic, so bringing to life Norfolk's first distillery was a personal mission as much as anything,' Mr Fisher added.

He also runs the Mash Tun and Gin Palace, on Charing Cross Road, which launched its 'Norwich Gin' at a special event on Thursday.

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Mr Twyman said: 'By introducing Norfolk's first gin distillery we created impact and interest from the rear to the front, filling the pub and giving the space a 'wow factor'.

'Previously the building did not sit as one because of three different former shop fronts, but now, while still quirky, it is uniform.' Clive Chesser, managing director for Greene King Pub Partners, which owns The Ten Bells, said: 'The whole look of the pub is fantastic and at Greene King we are delighted that the judges for this award bought into the ideas behind the pub's striking and modern refurbishment.'

The shortlist for the awards, held for the eighth time this year, will be announced on June 14, with the finalists invited to a ceremony in London on September 29.

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