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WATCH: See inside Norfolk's pub of the year

PUBLISHED: 08:44 13 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:05 13 September 2019

Owners of the Brisley Bell, Amelia Nicholson and Marcus Seaman, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Owners of the Brisley Bell, Amelia Nicholson and Marcus Seaman, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

A 300-year-old pub in the heart of Norfolk has been crowned as the county's very best.

The bar area of the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe bar area of the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Brisley Bell won Pub of the Year at Monday evening's Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, seeing off competition from The Hare Arms at Stow Bardolph, The Duck Inn at Stanhoe and The Globe Inn at Wells.

Since taking over in 2015, owners Marcus Seaman and Amelia have utilised the pub's immense character to transform it into an attractive and thriving business.

The outside seating area at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe outside seating area at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

With its cosy snug, selection of real ales and stunning rear garden, The Bell has developed a reputation as a pub for everyone.

And now, having already emerged triumphant in 2017, judges couldn't ignore its offering of food, drink and facilities.

The Brisley Bell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Brisley Bell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"My overwhelming thought after winning was the staff," said Mr Seaman. "I was pleased for them more than anything because they are so passionate.

"The first award was for us because we'd put so much work in but, as we collected this year's award, I knew the staff would think it's amazing."

The Garden Room at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Garden Room at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

With three centuries of history under its belt, The Bell is an old coaching inn and sits on what was once the main route between King's Lynn and Norwich.

Born at the pub in 1900, Ada Gricks oversaw proceedings as landlady until 1989, but the countryside gem subsequently fell on hard times and eventually ceased trading in 2014.

Owners of the Brisley Bell, Amelia Nicholson and Marcus Seaman, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOwners of the Brisley Bell, Amelia Nicholson and Marcus Seaman, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Despite having little knowledge of the trade, Mr Seaman and Ms Nicholson - who hail from Norfolk - took a leap of faith to rejuvenate the old favourite and it reopened in February 2017.

"We've got no regrets and we've thoroughly enjoyed ourselves," said Ms Nicholson. "The whole project was so exciting and the challenge was great fun.

The Green Room at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Green Room at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"You definitely question yourself and what you're doing because it's a huge task, but we never doubted our plan and knew we could do it."

Mr Seaman added: "I used to drink here in my early 20s, so I knew how popular it was in its heyday. I'd drive past every day when the pub was closed and it was in such a sad and derelict state.

The bar area of the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe bar area of the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"Five years ago if you'd said I'd be running a pub I'd have laughed in your face - it's been quite a journey. I always felt it would be successful, but not as successful as this."

The Brisley Bell which has won Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Brisley Bell which has won Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The barns converted into bedrooms at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe barns converted into bedrooms at the Brisley Bell, winners of the Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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