Idyllic riverside cafe bistro reopens under new ownership

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson who have taken over the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson who have taken over the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

The new owners of a riverside café in a 400-year-old thatched cottage have restored the building to its former glory. 

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson made the move from East Bergholt in Suffolk to Horning in Norfolk after deciding to leave their professions to start a new business together. 

And on February 12 they officially opened the Staithe 'N' Willow along the River Bure. 

The Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

The Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

With no previous experience in the hospitality industry, Mr Webb, a former police control room supervisor 27-years, and Ms Anderson, a former chemist, knew they had a challenge ahead of them. 

But just over six weeks since the business’s relaunch, the couple have been impressing holiday makers and villagers with the venture’s new look and tasty food offering. 

Mr Webb, 52, said: “The past couple of years changed our priorities and we just didn’t want to regret not going for it. 

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson, with their dogs, Isla and Skye, in their dog-friendly cafe bistro, St

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson, with their dogs, Isla and Skye, in their dog-friendly cafe bistro, Staithe 'N' Willow, at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave the constabulary, having been there for so long. 

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“But sometimes there is more to life and we wanted to be in charge of our own destinies. 

"Don’t get me wrong, it’s a steep learning curve for both of us but we have come in with a clear and simple vision and it seems to have worked.” 

The couple have renovated the inside to provide a “relaxing” environment for guests to enjoy a coffee, cake, breakfast, lunch, light snacks or afternoon tea. 

Skye waiting for a pupcake at dog-friendly Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

Skye waiting for a pupcake at dog-friendly Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

Mr Webb said they pride themselves on locally sourced, traditional home-cooked food. 

They are also dog-friendly with specially made pup-cakes on the menu.

He added: “We feel immensely proud and excited that we seem to be on the right tracks. 

Inside the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

Inside the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

“The local support we have had since we have been here has been amazing. They have appreciated what we have done to the place and how we have brought it back to its glory. 

“But we wouldn’t be where we are now without our talented chefs and staff.” 

The Staithe 'N' Willow also has an adjoining holiday cottage with riverside views, which has been proving popular with visitors.

Fish and chip Fridays at the Staithe 'N' Willow in Horning.

Fish and chip Fridays at the Staithe 'N' Willow in Horning. - Credit: Alex Webb

 

The café bistro is open seven days a week, Saturday to Thursday from 8am until 5pm and Fridays 5pm until 7pm. 

For more information visit the Staithe 'N' Willow's Facebook page here.

Honey cake at the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

Honey cake at the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

A pupcake for the dogs at the dog-friendly Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

A pupcake for the dogs at the dog-friendly Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

Fruit scones and cheese scone wedges at the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

Fruit scones and cheese scone wedges at the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson who have taken over the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning.

Alex Webb and Fiona Anderson who have taken over the Staithe 'N' Willow cafe bistro at Horning. - Credit: Archant/Denise Bradley