A traditional pub near Newmarket, West Suffolk, has re-opened as a newly modern-yet-relaxed place to eat and stay after a £500,000 revamp.
The Packhorse Inn in Moulton, which re-opened on 11 October, was bought by former banker and corporate financier Philip Turner, who established Chestnut Inns in order to acquire the freehold in May 2012.
Previously owned by Greene King, the pub used to be known as the King's Head. After receiving additional funding from an Enterprise Investment Scheme, however, it will now serve as an example and pilot to other future Chestnut Inn sites in the area.
The pub is managed by Chris and Hayley Lee, who have headed up the nearby Bildeston Crown for the past decade, for which they secured AA 3 rosettes and won Gold in the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence for "Taste of England". The interior is designed to be warm and welcoming yet modern, and was masterminded by Turner's wife Amanda.
With two open fires and one glass-fronted one, the pub welcomes children and dogs and is open from 8am until 11pm, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Championing locally-sourced beers, the pub menu also features dishes from high-quality produce at prices designed to suit a range of budgets.
Alongside such choices as smoked salmon fishcakes, local chicken breast and lobster tail, and pigeon and foie gras Wellington, Sunday lunch is a particular focus with ribs of beef and whole roast chickens now available to be carved at the table.
Having been renovated along with the downstairs area, the four bedrooms now feature grand mirrors and large beds, with a view to creating a luxurious experience for the "professional couple".
Co-manager Chris Lee said of the £500,000 revamp: "This is a new chapter, a fresh concept and a different type of challenge. It is a little daunting but we have had great support from our investors who believe in us and a fantastic welcome from the local community. What more can you ask for?"