New owners take over the Coach and Horses pub in Dersingham
The new landlords at Dersingham's Coach and Horses pub have got off to a flying start with two important achievements in their first three weeks of opening.
Tommy and Christine Haughey, who both grew up in West Norfolk, have returned back to their roots after a 20-year absence to take over the popular village local.
After an unannounced visit last week by an environmental health officer for a food hygiene inspection, the pub was awarded the top rating of five stars and they also found out that the pub has been rated fourth out of 26 for October by CAMRA.
Said Tommy, head chef and owner: "This is very pleasing for us as it's an important part of what we do. We have taken over from the previous landlady, Sheila Roythorne, who was highly regarded and popular, so we have big shoes to fill. We feel we have got off to a flying start."
All Sheila's staff team of six have been taken on since the pub reopened on October 1.
The couple previously ran a Spanish tapas restaurant in Market Rasen for four years, but have been in the pub trade for several years, including a spell in Spain.
Tommy is a former Gaywood Park pupil and has family living in Lynn while Christine, who attended Dersingham Middle School, grew up in Snettisham where her parents still live.
"It was a massive pull for us to come back to our roots and to be nearer to our families, especially with Covid-19 going on," said Tommy.
The menu includes traditional pub fare and Tommy said they try to support local businesses when sourcing their food supplies.
They have several plans in the weeks ahead including an American-themed dining night and opening five bed and breakfast rooms by mid-November which are presently being given a makeover. They also plan Spanish themed nights further down the line.
Bookings are already rolling in for Christmas.
"This is a real community pub, a locals' village pub. Dersingham is a fantastic village and our customers are all very friendly. We are delighted to be here," said Tommy.