Lavenham: Village not tickled pink by Marco Pierre White’s paint choice

Angel Hotel in Lavenham has been painted in the wrong shade of pink and will now have to be repainte

Angel Hotel in Lavenham has been painted in the wrong shade of pink and will now have to be repainted. - Credit: Archant

He’s famed for his colourful language in the kitchen.

Angel Hotel in Lavenham has been painted in the wrong shade of pink and will now have to be repainte

Angel Hotel in Lavenham has been painted in the wrong shade of pink and will now have to be repainted. Work on the hotel has already started, with the correct traditional Suffolk Pink. - Credit: Archant

But this time it’s Marco Pierre White’s paint scheme that has landed him in hot water.

The fiery chef, who owns the Angel Hotel in Lavenham, has been asked to repaint the 15th Century building in traditional Suffolk colours after changing it from cream to pink.

Although many of the buildings in the mediaeval village are painted pink, they are all Suffolk Pink – a recognised heritage colour that has been used in the area for centuries.

Last night council bosses, who revealed they are also investigating some interior alterations and external signage at the Grade II* Listed property, said they had told the Angel that the colour was “not acceptable.”

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The paint job has done little to smooth relations with those living in the village, who were previously upset by Mr Pierre White’s refusal to serve lager or Guinness in case it encouraged the wrong sort of people.

Parish council chairman Roy Whitworth, who once ran the Angel, said: “I know a lot of local residents have contacted Babergh District Council, which is the planning authority, to complain about the colour - as has the parish council. The enforcement officers have been out to meet the owners and they have agreed a new colour, which is more in keeping with the rest of Lavenham.

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“The new colour doesn’t conform to what people would generally regard as Suffolk Pink.”

Real Suffolk Pink dates back to the 14th century or earlier. At that time paints were coloured using whatever was to hand, and ox-blood was used to produce the colour properly recognised as Suffolk Pink.

Mr Whitworth said The Angel had acted as if “they are law unto themselves.” He added: “What really annoys local people, if any of us who live in Listed houses want to make any changes you have to go through a lengthy and expensive process to get planning permission. It does upset people, it might have been better if they consulted Babergh in the first place.”

Alex Burgess, deputy manager of the Angel, said there had been no complaints to the hotel about the colour and said that suggestions that people in the village were “outraged” were exaggerated.

He said that Mr Pierre White, who took over the property two years ago, had decided to change the new pink colour because he “didn’t like the first shade” rather than because of external pressure.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said: “Over the past few days officials from Babergh District Council have inspected the works carried out at the Angel in Lavenham and have advised the manager that the new paint colour was not acceptable. We are hopeful that an agreement has now been reached regarding an acceptable colour and we are awaiting a submission for that colour in order to formally agree it. We very much hope that a negotiated solution will be reached and that no further enforcement action by the Council will be necessary.

“We are also investigating signage that has been added to the building and some interior alterations to the Angel. Investigations into these alterations are ongoing.”

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