The Dial House bought by Reepham couple

Hannah Springham and Andrew Jones, who opened Farmyard Restaurant in Norwich last year, have bought the Dial House in Reepham, with effect from the beginning of May.

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham at Farmyard Restaurant, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich. Photo: EDP

The business was acquired from Iain Wilson, who in 2014 acquired the former Old Brewery House Hotel, which had closed a year earlier.
The Reepham couple said they are delighted to take on the boutique hotel in the town’s Market Place and plan to “turn the food up a few notches”, making full potential of the eight designer-styled luxury bedrooms.
Mr Jones, who grew up in Reepham and went to school in Norwich, spent 12 years working in high-end London restaurants such as Corrigan’s Mayfair, Antidote Wine Bar in Soho and the Fox & Grapes on Wimbledon Common.
Raised in South Walsham, Ms Springham worked at South Walsham Hall Country Club before eventually becoming a television executive producer, working on such programmes as Top Gear, Pineapple Dance Studios and Bad Habits for London-based independent production company Knickerbockerglory.
Over the past year she has moved her TV career into part-time mode to take on the role of operations director at Farmyard Restaurant and will do the same for the Dial House.
In 2015 the couple moved to Reepham and bought much of the furniture for their farmhouse from the Objects business run within the Dial House by Sarah Tribe – they even spent their wedding night in the hotel last May.
But having successfully launched Farmyard, which has quickly gained a reputation for food, wine and service, they were already making moves to find another location within the next year or so.
Then in January Mr Wilson, who owns such hospitality businesses as Byfords in Holt and The Pigs in Edgefield, thought the time had come to find new, local owners for the Dial House and approached the couple to see if they were interested in buying it, which proved too good an opportunity to turn down.
Mr Jones now plans to bring his stripped-back, “produce-driven” style of cooking to Reepham. The menu will be slightly more elegant to echo the Georgian building and the surroundings – and inspired by the wealth of produce in Norfolk.
“The countryside and coastline that we are surrounded by produces some of the best tasting food I’ve ever worked with and, increasingly, there is a band of passionate growers, farmers and artisans,” he said.
“It feels like there is a ‘foodie’ critical mass forming and I want to be part of it, dealing directly with the people who care as much about what they do as I do.
“Iain and his team have done an incredible job of creating a unique establishment, which we care very much about. We feel incredibly lucky to be part of its next chapter.”

The Dial House, Market Place, Reepham. Photo: Reepham Community Press

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