Old coaching inn gets a new lease of life

A 15th century coaching inn, The Ostrich in Castle Acre near Kings Lynn has a new look and new landlords at the helm.  A joint investment by pub owners Greene King Pub Partners and business partners Aoife Halliday and Ant Ciavarella has brought the coaching inn back to life.

A full redecoration inside has enhanced the traditional character of the pub and created a cosy warm interior with three wood burning stoves, new lights, flooring and bar. 

Aoife and Ant, previously lived locally in West Acre and had visited the pub when it was their local.  When they discovered it was available, they jumped at the chance to take it over. She says, “This pub is the only one left in the village and we wanted to make it a place where everyone is welcome. Whether you are out walking with your dog and fancy a pint or want to meet up with family and friends, we want you to feel welcome here, muddy shoes or not. 

“We’re introducing a food menu that’s packed with great locally sourced produce, pub classics, sharing platters, rambler’s delights, street food and themed food nights. Eighty percent of our menu can be adapted to be vegetarian”.

The pub is introducing an events programme focusing on food, drink and wellbeing. It is reinstating a derelict function room, that will host parties, weddings and birthday bashes. They recently hosted a weekend of Halloween delights and a sea shanty band with hog roast and kicked off the monthly Big Bird Pub Quiz.

Investment is continuing at the pub with the six letting rooms being refurbished for Christmas.  Since taking over the pub, 10 jobs have been created with recruitment ongoing for a sous chef, kitchen assistants, assistant manager and front of house staff.

Adding Aoife said, “We should have the full renovation completed by December resulting in 16 new local jobs having been created at the pub”.

Speaking about the investment with Aoife and Ant, business development manager for Greene King Pub Partners, Lee Jarvis said, “The Ostrich has a lot of potential, Aoife and Ant have really made the most of the space internally and created a fantastic outside area making it a brilliant venue throughout the year.  It’s in a perfect location for walking groups and visitors alongside a proper pub for the locals and we wish them every success with it”.