Sheona Fraser is the co-owner of The Brewers Pub and Restaurant in Rattlesden and Bury Bathroom and Kitchen Centre in Bury St Edmunds, with her partner Martin.  After a professional career as a Physiotherapist, she found herself somewhat unwittingly at the helm of two diverse businesses. She strives to make every member of their team feel valued and supported in their career progression, thoroughly believing that hospitality and retail careers should be recognised and valued professions in our society. Here she talks to Gina Long

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born and educated in Scotland. We moved from London in 1993, enabling a rural upbringing for our children. I must admit, at the time property prices in Suffolk also had an appeal! I first visited East Anglia as a Girl Guide around 1975 and the ancient architecture in the towns we visited immediately struck and stayed with me, hence raising my three children in beautiful Bury St Edmunds.

What's your East Anglian heaven?

The varied architecture, from rural thatched cottages, timber framed homes and flint cottages, to grand Georgian buildings. Equally appealing are some of the 'Grand Design' new homes that will be the masterpieces of the future. As a restaurant owner, I also appreciate the fantastic choice of great venues to eat.

What is your East Anglian hell?

I miss the mountain scenery of my childhood! Otherwise, the demise of rural facilities, such as bus routes.

Do you have any favourite local restaurants?

Well, The Brewers Rattlesden of course. Otherwise, Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds and the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip shop, along with several lovely independent restaurants scattered throughout Norfolk. All of which need your ongoing, much appreciated support please.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

The new Cathedral tower in Bury St Edmunds. Witnessing it being built for the Millennium and now scarcely believing it is new.The craftsmanship is incredible.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Christmas, I love Christmas! Choosing a tree at Blackthorpe Barns, collecting our turkey from Phil Truin’s Farm, the lights throughout the region in our high streets, town centres and all the Christmas shop windows. 

Your specialist Mastermind subject?

Human Anatomy. Our bodies are remarkable.

What is always in your fridge?

Cheese. Baron Bigod, Suffolk Blue. Plenty of Suffolk meats. Buying local produce is key to the dishes we prepare at The Brewers, so the fridges there are stocked with fresh produce, all from as close to Rattlesden as we can find.

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Be kind, don’t be judgemental.

Your favourite film?

Miracle on 34th Street. It refreshes my Christmas spirit every year.

What was your first job?

A Saturday job in my aunt and uncle’s green grocer and florist. I grew up with farming and this was the next step in my food appreciation journey, selling fresh, local produce.

Your most treasured posession?

My grandfather’s practise chanter (the bit on bagpipes that looks like a recorder). He played the pipes in the Great War, to which he went as a conscientious objector, but lead the troops over the top of the trenches, with great bravery.

Who do you admire most?

The chefs we employ at The Brewers who show great creativity, passion, artistic merit, all displayed under enormous pressure.  Watching our head chef prepare and plate dishes with such attention to detail brings a tear to my eye.

What's your biggest indulgence?


What do you like most about yourself?

I am prepared to work hard. Currently very useful, given recruitment in hospitality is all but impossible since COVID. You can find me behind the bar or serving tables to support the team Wednesday to Sunday. So many sectors have been hit hard since the pandemic, especially hospitality.

What's your worst character trait?

Doubting myself.

Your favourite holiday destination?

Puglia in Italy. The food, the beautiful Tulli filled landscape and the ancient towns. An easy pace of life and a beautiful language. Closer to home, a winter trip to the North Norfolk Coast or Aldeburgh and a long beach walk with our two dogs, blows away the cobwebs and gets life in perspective.

What's the best day of your life?

There are three - the days each of my children were born.

What's your favourite breakfast?


Do you have a favourite tipple?

A Scottish Single Malt, preferably from the Aberfeldy Distillery near to my childhood home. I always make sure it’s behind the bar at the Brewers, but of course we also have excellent local beers, and an array of wonderful local gins – my favourite is Suffolk Distillery’s Strawberry and Cucumber – perfect for a summer’s afternoon. 

Any hidden talents?

Ice skating.

Your earliest memory?

Walking the best part of a mile home from my grandparents’ house as a two-year-old. My grandfather had fallen asleep in the garden whilst looking after me, I was bored, knew the way and thought I would just go home. I will never forget the look of relief on my father’s face when he found me.

What would you like played at your funeral?

A piper, playing Highland Cathedral.

Tell us something people don't know about you

I have one leg longer than the other!

What's the worst thing anyone's ever said to you?

A consultant at Papworth hospital, confirming my daughter’s diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. A burden that she carries with grace and determination.

Why do you live here and nowhere else?

It is the home of my family - a retreat for them - and I love my life here. The magnificence of the sea is easily in reach and we have a wonderful village community in Rattlesden.

What do you want to tell readers about most?

Please do consider supporting local independent businesses. I warmly invite your readers to visit our businesses, we’re always open to hearing from anyone who is interested in pursuing a career at The Brewers. We have an amazing team, who tirelessly work hard to create exceptional menus at a great price and deliver excellent service to our lovely customers. Find out more at and