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Village inn finalist in Norfolk's pub of the year award

PUBLISHED: 14:26 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:26 06 September 2019

Deborah and Pat Palmer with staff outside The Hare Arms. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Deborah and Pat Palmer with staff outside The Hare Arms. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Archant

A traditional inn set in the heart of a rural community has been nominated as finalists in Norfolk's pub of the year awards.

Deborah Palmer (second from left) and Pat Palmer (fourth from left) with staff in the front garden of The Hare Arms next to a GoGoHare they won at auction. Picture: Sarah HussainDeborah Palmer (second from left) and Pat Palmer (fourth from left) with staff in the front garden of The Hare Arms next to a GoGoHare they won at auction. Picture: Sarah Hussain

The Hare Arms in Stow Bardolph, a village near Downham Market, has been shortlisted as the finalists in the pub of the year award in the Eat Norfolk Food and Drinks awards 2019.

The traditional English pub is owned by Pat and Deborah Palmer, who took over the Inn in 2016.

The couple have previous ties to the Hare Arms working behind the bar for the previous owners David and Trish McManus. It's where the pair met in 1987 and 30 years on returned to the Inn as its owners.

Mr Palmer said: "Since being here, we have refurbished and knocked down the conservatory for a new extension.

The Hare Arms, in the village of Stow Bardolph, between King's Lynn and Downham Market on the A10. Picture: Sarah HussainThe Hare Arms, in the village of Stow Bardolph, between King's Lynn and Downham Market on the A10. Picture: Sarah Hussain

"We have 50 staff, employing five full time chefs, six full time staff and part time cleaners and washing up staff. They're all equally important.

"It's a fabulous setting, although it's a tiny village we have a real sense of community."

More than 1,000 customers a week come to the Inn, with regular customers coming from West Dereham, Sutton Bridge, Ely, March and Wisbech.

The pub prides itself on providing locally sourced food.

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Mr Palmer said: "We use local produce, our butchers is in Stowbridge, we get our fish from Cole's in King's Lynn and our game supplier is Russell's from Upwell.

"We have the traditional pub classics, such as fish and chips and we have the daily specials which gives us the flexibility to come up with things.

"It's important to us to use products in the countryside around us as we're surrounded by farmland, we like to use what's on our doorstep.

"The pub is quite big, we can do anything really, the restaurant is ideal for special occasions. There's something for everybody."

The inn is up against The Brisley Bell in Dereham, The Duck Inn in Stanhoe and the Globe Inn in Wells.

Mrs Palmer will be attending the awards with head chef, Billy Brown.

Mr Palmer said: "Having had such a roller coaster three years, we feel it's a just reward for all the efforts people have put in.

"It's more of a recognition of the people who nominated us.

"We couldn't do it without the customers and staff, and equally we have to offer the services that people want so they keep returning. It's been a real team effort."

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Monday, September 9 at OPEN, Norwich.

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