Celebrity chef’s Thornham pubs are up for sale

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Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White’s Norfolk pubs are up for sale after the administrators were called in.

Restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper have confirmed four of the chef’s pubs, the Chequers Inn and Lifeboat Inn in Thornham and the Wayford Bridge Inn and the Acle Bridge Inn on the Norfolk Broads, are in administration.

Mr Pierre White bought the Thornham pubs four years ago in a multi-million pound deal.

The pubs are part of the Horatio Inns Ltd, of which Mr Pierre White is listed as one of the directors, at Companies House.

A Zolfo Cooper spokeswoman said: “The administrators were appointed as a result of the businesses experiencing short term cash flow problems arising from the recent challenging economic environment.”

She said the pubs will continue to trade, adding: “The venues are very popular and have a healthy number of existing bookings which the administrators fully intend to honour.”

Nick Cropper of Zolfo Cooper said: “We believe the businesses are attractive to a range of potential buyers and we welcome expressions of interest from third parties to acquire any or all of the sites.

“We would also like to thank the staff for their continued support and professionalism during this process.”

Zolfo Cooper said Nick Cropper, Fraser Gray and Anne O’Keefe have been joint administrators over Horatio Inns and its four subsidiaries.

Last year The Chequers received a £75,000 refurbishment undertaken by Mr Pierre White and his team. The pub had been re-decorated and the garden improved as part of the work.

The pub had been known as the The Old Coach House for 15 years but was taken back to its previous name, the Chequers. An Italian menu was also unveiled last year.

The Lifeboat has sponsored Thornham cricket team’s new kit.