Today’s Pub of the Week is the Railway in Wymondham where food lovers enjoy the enormous portions

The deal at the Railway in Wymondham is that Peter Ford looks after the bar while chef Ian Cowling is responsible for the kitchen, and it seems to work well.

They took over the pub in Station Road about seven years ago. While Mr Cowling managed other pubs in the Norwich area before the move, Mr Ford is a chemist by trade.

He used to be a director at Romil Ltd, a chemical business near Cambridge, and with his chemical background his long-term aim is to open a brewery at the pub.

At present they have three real ales on tap, but the pub is mainly food-led, and regulars are proud of the enormous portions it's known for.

Mr Ford said: 'We opened it on March 18, 2005 so Mother's Day is our seventh anniversary. We bought the pub six months before then and closed it for six months. We gutted it before reopening.

'But we now do well on food with Ian doing all the home-cooked meals. We are known for our enormous portions.'

Being a pub landlord was great, he said. 'It's a very social job and the hours can be long, but I love it.

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'Your customers are your social life as well. We do have a lot of repeat business and some of our regulars have been coming in for seven years, come rain or shine. The locals come in daily and I love that aspect of it.'

He added: 'There will always be room for specialist drinking pubs like the Fat Cat in Norwich, but the future of pubs has got to be food.'

Like other publicans he's concerned about how much money the chancellor will add on to a pint at this month's budget.

He said: 'We have just had a 7-10pc rise from the breweries on the price of pints, which we cannot fully pass on to our customers, so it means we make less money. We have also been hit by business rate rises of 400pc in two years which are being phased in. And like any other business we have to pay extra electricity and gas bills.'

One of the success stories in recent years at many pubs has been the increased popularity of quizzes. He added: 'We often have about 90 people taking part in our weekly quizzes. It's tough and that's why it's popular. At the end of it we also have a bit of Bruce Forsyth's Play Your Cards Right, with �300 up for grabs.'

Mr Ford also owns the George and Dragon pub in Thurton, about 20 minutes drive away, which he said was a more drinks-led pub.

The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs in our Love your local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

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