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Mattishall pub to take fresh flight under new ownership

06:42 09 October 2014

Sonia Harrison and Peter Freeman are opening The Swan in Mattishall on the 11th October. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Sonia Harrison and Peter Freeman are opening The Swan in Mattishall on the 11th October. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

A couple is hoping to turn a village pub which had become an ugly duckling back to its former glory as a beautiful swan.

The Swan Inn at Mattishall is set to reopen this weekend under new lease-holders Sonia Harrison and Peter Freeman.

As previously reported, it had closed its doors in December 2012, just six months after it was taken over by its latest owners Rob and Angie Martin.

The couple had made progress with the pub and were turning it into the establishment they said they believed the village wanted and deserved – but said they were forced to leave “prematurely”.

Mrs Harrison and Mr Freeman took on the 20-year lease in August and after two months of refurbishing the venue, will be reopening its doors this Saturday.

The couple, who now live at the pub, said they want to give the village - the second largest in Norfolk - the pub “they seem to want”.

Mrs Harrison, 50, who previously worked at an electronic components firm and whose brother runs Bedfords in Norwich, said: “We had been looking for a pub for a couple of years and what we liked about the Swan is that we could put our own mark on it.

“We like a challenge and we’re taking this on as a lifestyle - it’s not just a job for us, we want it to work because it’s going to be our life.”

Over the past two months, the couple has gutted the inside, put down new carpets, re-painted the venue inside and out, installed new gates and fitted a new sign.

It is being marketed as a family-friendly pub and it will be open from 11am to 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 5.30pm to 11pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and all day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

There is a traditional pub food menu with Adnams ales plus three real ale pumps.

It is also planned to serve craft lagers from Norwich-based brewery Redwell.

The reopening has created four jobs, including a full-time chef and three part-time roles.

Are you breathing new life into a neglected community asset?

Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

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