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Owner of The Swan Hotel in Harleston hopes piano bar hits the right note

Robin Twigge who runs The Swan Hotel in Harleston is opening a piano bar next door called The Swift Piano Bar. Pictured is pianist Frances Hopkins (left) with Robin who will be playing.

Robin Twigge who runs The Swan Hotel in Harleston is opening a piano bar next door called The Swift Piano Bar. Pictured is pianist Frances Hopkins (left) with Robin who will be playing.

Harleston may not be a place you would associate as having a piano bar but one is about to open in the town.

Robin Twigge who runs The Swan Hotel in Harleston is opening a piano bar next door called The Swift Piano Bar.
Pictured is pianist Frances Hopkins who will be playing.Robin Twigge who runs The Swan Hotel in Harleston is opening a piano bar next door called The Swift Piano Bar. Pictured is pianist Frances Hopkins who will be playing.

The Swift Piano Bar, found at The Swan Hotel, will have its official launch tonight before it will be available for private parties, afternoon tea parities, supper nights and special music evenings.

Owner Robin Twigge has said there has been some scepticism but he feels the concept has the potential to take off.

Mr Twigge, who has owned the hotel for 15 years, said: “People think I am an idiot for doing a piano bar in Harleston. It makes The Swan a bit different. My vision is to do this across Norfolk and Suffolk.”

The Art Deco-themed room is named in honour of the swift population which visits the town.

Robin Twigge who runs The Swan Hotel in Harleston is opening a piano bar next door called The Swift Piano Bar.
Pictured is pianist Frances Hopkins who will be playing.Robin Twigge who runs The Swan Hotel in Harleston is opening a piano bar next door called The Swift Piano Bar. Pictured is pianist Frances Hopkins who will be playing.

The idea to open the bar came from Frances Hopkins, a supervising waitress at the hotel, who has played the piano since she was four years old.

“She did a lot of work on a business plan,” said Mr Twigge. “I had no idea about it. She put the proposal to me and we had a meeting for an hour and I said ‘yes’.”

Ms Hopkins, who lives in Harleston, will play jazz, contemporary, show music and old favourites.

The 58-year-old used to play at church services when she was young and played at a restaurant when she was 21.

She said: “It has been amazing. I just want to see this place being really busy. I just love playing the piano. I want people to talk and for it to be somewhere for people to come and relax.”

For dates and information on forthcoming events contact The Swan Hotel on 01379 852221.

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