Villagers have welcomed a world famous Michelin-starred celebrity chef’s decision to take their pub back to its roots.
The Chequers has returned to Thornham after nearly 15 years of being known as The Old Coach House following a £75,000 refurbishment undertaken by owner Marco Pierre White and his team.
Marco, who bought the Chequers and nearby Lifeboat Inn three years ago, unveiled the new-look pub and his Italian menu during a launch on Wednesday.
Operations manager Steven Stafford said 150 people enjoyed sampling the menu along with meeting the chef. He said: “It was a great night and nice to see the garden being used as we intended.
“We have completely re-decorated inside with new furniture and colour scheme.
“We have improved the garden and made it a lovely area and safer for children.
“The menu has been devised by Marco and he has been here working with the chef. He likes to make sure everything is right
“One of the main things is the name change.
“It was sad for the village when the name was changed so we have brought it back. It is nice to have the original name back.”
One of the people who have welcomed the name change is John Warham.
He said: “I am delighted to see The Chequers back. In my opinion it was ludicrous to change the name as it was never a coach house.”
The Chequers sister pub, The Lightboat, has also sponsored Thornham Cricket Team’s new kit.
Club secretary Ron Williamson has thanked the pub for the new shirts and showerproof jackets, which they will be sporting in the new season.
Mr Williamson said: “We’d like to thank the Lifeboat for its support.
“The fact they’ve changed the name back to The Chequers has made a good point in the village.”
The club is now trying to raise £25,000 to buy new practice nets, which will also need planning permission.