Today’s Norwich Pub of the Week is the Red Lion in Drayton

There's a sign on the wall at this 17th-century pub saying: 'There are no strangers in here, only friends we have not met', and regulars can vouch for the warm and friendly atmosphere.

Landlord Peter Kedzlie and wife Kathy took over as landlords at the Red Lion in Fakenham Road 12 years ago after leaving their central London pub to bring up their children in a safer environment.

Mr Kedzlie arrived in the UK from Australia in the 1980s as a backpacker and was the first member of his family to travel abroad.

While he still goes to Australia to see his family, he reckons that English customers are friendlier than those Down Under.

'If you say hello to someone in an English pub then they will say hello back to you, when they probably wouldn't in Australia,' he said.

'Pubs in Australia are big, bold and brash, and don't offer the personal touch that pubs in the UK do.'

Offering a friendly service to customers is part of the package at the Red Lion where staff need to be on their toes to keep up the standards.

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'We are in a business now where you cannot let any opportunity pass you by,' Mr Kedzlie said. 'You've got to be on your game. And that special service starts as soon as a customer walks through the door.'

His commitment to quality service started back in Australia where his father ran a bowls club and he started in the pub industry as a 15-year-old.

He spent 10 years running the Beehive in Baker Street, London, where he used to joke to American tourists coming from the nearby Beatles' shop that John and Paul wrote a particular song in the pub. No chicanery is needed at the Red Lion, where customers are quite happy to just enjoy the ambience at the food-driven family boozer and chat to the Kedzlies, and popular staff members Dani Syder and Addie Garrett.

The landlord added: 'We get local and passing trade and have regulars who come from Fakenham, King's Lynn, and Sheringham. I've been in this business about 30 years and you have to be a bit of a salesman. You have to sell the product.'

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love Your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit

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