Bar Man, June 3, 2016

Lattice House, King's Lynn ANL-160206-165120001
Lattice House, King's Lynn ANL-160206-165120001
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I don’t do reviews in this column so be assured that you will not have to deal with the deficiencies of the dessert wine on the menu.

However, we were in town last week and it seemed to good an opportunity not to pop into a pub for a meal. We had been to one of the excellent and well supported series of Tuesday night lectures in the town hall on the subject of ancient buildings, and now I find it difficult to pass any structure without examining it closely. Flemish bond? Check. Diagonal marks showing the bricks were stacked in a herring bone pattern? Check. Given my new found enthusiasm for old buildings, it seemed natural that we should head for the Lattice House, especially as it was our first opportunity for a visit since it reopened under new ownership. Formerly a Weatherspoon’s house, there was apparently great wailing and gnashing of teeth when the news came that the company had put it on the market, with some people even fearful of the building being demolished, according to some news reports. The building was constructed around 1480 and has a grade II* listing so one would hope that demolition was never on the cards, although one never can tell. It wouldn’t be the first historic building in Lynn that bit the dust in

mysterious circumstances as a bit of research about the

Norman building that once stood on Queen Street reveals.

I suspect that the majority of those concerned about the future of the Lattice House were more interested in the beer than the building and were worried that one of the few local venues with a good pint and food at reasonable prices was about to disappear. My visit suggests that they can relax. The pub is now run by Hawthorn Leisure, a relatively new company formed in 2013, who now own around 350 pubs nationwide. There are still around 10 beers available which are split into the regular favourites in the narrow bar and the more interesting guest beers in the other bar. If anything, the selection of guest beers is a step up from the previous regime in that many are locally-produced, with my choices of Norfolk Brewhouse Moongazer coming from Hindringham and St Peter’s being brewed near Bungay. They were not too strong, tasted good and would have been cheap even without the CAMRA discount of which the firm were good enough to inform us by email ahead of opening day. The food was also much as before with special nights for pies, grills, curries etc. The décor was unchanged with the same displays of local landmarks and the one-off Weatherspoon’s carpet with its design that I guess is intended to echo the roundabouts produced by Savages is still in situ. In short, I don’t think that many will notice much difference. The place is unlikely to attract lots of new custom or lose its existing fan base. If I had a criticism it would be of the staff training, It’s disappointing to ask for a pint of Moongazer and the staff not being aware that it is a beer, or having to go off to check the gravity to see if it qualifies as a permitted drink with the meal deal. It was good to see that the toilets were inspected regularly, though I would have thought that the person who mopped the floor might have removed the abandoned glass by the sink. Hopefully these are just teething troubles and things will settle down and carry on in the old familiar way.