Popular Hunny Bell pub to reopen under new ownership

Chef and owner Ben Handley stands with general manager Sam Handley. The pair are part of the team th

Chef and owner Ben Handley stands with general manager Sam Handley. The pair are part of the team that are bringing back the popular Hunny Bell pub. Picture: The Duck Inn - Credit: Archant

The historic Hunworth Bell pub near Holt is set to reopen thanks to a partnership between the multi-award winning Duck Inn and the Stody Estate.

Chicklit was filmed at the Hunny Bell. Picture: Stody Estate

Chicklit was filmed at the Hunny Bell. Picture: Stody Estate - Credit: Archant

The 18th century pub known locally as the 'Hunny Bell' has been closed since the beginning of the year after the previous tenants, Penny and Sean Chapman, left for personal reasons.

The Stody Estate had been seeking a new tenant for the premises ever since and they have now found one with the owners of the Duck Inn, in Kings Lynn.

The Duck Inn team say they hope to reopen the pub by the end of July after a period of refurbishment and they will bring a new menu of locally sourced ingredients, encompassing classic English pub dishes with an emphasis on seasonality.

Ben Handley, chef and co-owner, said: 'We are delighted to be expanding our little family further into beautiful North Norfolk, and I'm especially keen to work with local producers and the Stody Estate to ensure that we offer a modern British pub menu, using the best Norfolk produce, at the Hunny Bell.'

The Hunny Bell. Picture: Archant library

The Hunny Bell. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Colin Finch


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When the pub reopens it will retain its 18th century beamed main bar and feature separate lounge and restaurant areas and a snug, along with a spacious garden.

Co-owner Sarah Handley, added: 'We have enjoyed so many successful and happy times at The Duck and we feel the time is right for us to expand further. The Hunny Bell is the most beautiful pub in a part of the world we all love and we can't wait to get started.'

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The Hunny Bell is set in the Norfolk countryside, two miles from the market town of Holt, and it has always been very popular within the community. It has also made a name for itself by welcoming famous guests, such as Prince Harry who dropped by while working with charity Walking With The Wounded.

The late John Hurt spent a number of months filming there when it was picked as the main setting for the comedy film Chick-Lit, which was later screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.

The Hunny Bell. Picture: Archant library

The Hunny Bell. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Colin Finch

The team say they are now keen to engage with the local community and Mr and Mrs Handley are on the look out for people to join their team. For more information visit their website.

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