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Brome: Historic hotel plans summer reopening

06:00 17 February 2014

Alan Crowest (left) handing over the keys to Fraser Duffin

Alan Crowest (left) handing over the keys to Fraser Duffin

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A hotel on the Norfolk/Suffolk border has been sold, and plans to reopen soon.

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The Grade II listed Cornwallis Country House Hotel in Brome, just yards from the main A140 Norwich/Ipswich road, was placed on the market last November.

The estate agents, TW Gaze of Diss handled the sale, and were seeking offers in the region of £995,000.

The hotel has been bought by local businessman, Fraser Duffin, who will return the name back to The Oaksmere.

He said: “I’ve been talking to so many people, including original owner, Mike Hasted, who have such happy memories of the old Oaksmere days and its that atmosphere that I want to bring back.

“At the same time I’m planning a complete renovation and modernisation of the bedrooms and am bringing in a superb catering team that will offer first class cuisine in a new restaraunt as well as quality pub dining in the bar.

“This is such a magnificent place and we want to get it back to its glory days with people back in, enjoying both the building and gardens.

The hotel dates from the Tudor period and was originally the Dower House built for the Cornwallis family, and the sale included 16 en-suite bedrooms, a restuarant that can hold up to 70 people, a beer garden, and topiary gardens.

There is also a timber Tudor bar with an illuminated 50ft well, and 17 acres of land with meadows and a paddock.

The venue is also licenced for civil ceremonies and partnerships.

Mr Duffin said: “We want a facility that my family, our staff, our suppliers, and our customers are very proud of.

“We plan to open the bar soon after Easter, with the restaurant and rooms in time for the summer.

“It’s a very exciting project with an awful lot of work to do, but our team here are raring to go.”

Alan Crowest, licensed trade consultant said at the time that the business did not fit in with the owner’s operational needs.

Mr Crowest said: “My initial thoughts that the 16 bedroom hotel was not of a large enough scale to appeal to companies, proved correct.

“In total, we conducted 17 viewings of the property, all from private individuals, and culminated in seeking best and final offers. As a result, a number of offers were received in excess of the asking price.”

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