Restaurateurs and friends of Slow Food, Tim and Janie Elwes are hoping to reopen the Saracen’s Head in August after months of repair work to their flood-damaged inn near Erpingham.
A burst mains water pipe in the roof and bad weather in the spring, damaged bedrooms, stairways, halls, bar and restaurant. After weeks of drying out, the building is being stripped down “to the bare bones”.
Tim said: “Being a listed building we have to keep all the original features, so where lath and plaster ceilings and lime plaster walls have been removed then the same will be replaced. This will keep the character of the building, but the pity is just how long this all takes to dry out again. We will, of course, take this opportunity to make some improvements too.”
The popular Georgian inn prides itself on being true to the spirit of its 200-year history, and head chef Mark Sayers, a regular cookery demonstrator for Slow Food at the Farmers’ Markets in Aylsham, uses mainly locally-sourced produce.
“Our priority is to reopen the restaurant and parlour as soon as possible and to then complete the works to the bedrooms,” said Tim.