New Italian restaurant run by TV presenter opening soon
- Credit: Archant
An Italian restaurant fronted by former TV presenter Ruth Watson is set to open in a Suffolk town later this year.
Watson and Walpole, in Church Street in Framlingham, will take the place of the Lemon Tree Bistro, which closed before Christmas.
Mrs Watson says the new eatery will sell authentic Italian dishes after its opening in April.
The new restaurant marks Mrs Watson's first new venture in Suffolk since selling the Crown and Castle in Orford in 2017. She said: "I love restaurants and always have. We wanted to open a new restaurant somewhere we could get to easily.
"Framlingham is a really nice town, and we've had an amazing amount of interest in the new restaurant.
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"We love Italian food. The restaurant will contain dishes from all over Italy.
"It's food that everybody likes."
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Mrs Watson is known nationally as being the original presenter of The Hotel Inspector, a role she held for four seasons of the show from 2005 to 2008.
Together with her husband David, she owned the Crown and Castle for 18 years prior to selling the restaurant to the TA Hotel Collection chain.
Mrs Watson also previously ran Hintlesham Hall near Ipswich and the Fox and Goose in Fressingfield, near Eye.
Watson and Walpole will be managed by Mrs Watson, with her business partners Rob Walpole and Stefan Babel, who both worked at the Crown and Castle, also taking up roles.
The new restaurant will employ seven full-time staff and an undetermined number of part-time staff.
The owner has promised that the eatery will commit to being as green as possible - including purchasing food from sustainable sources and using induction cookers to save energy.
A private dining room will also be situated upstairs, complete with leather seating, with classic Italian dishes such as homemade pasta and woodfire pizzas on the menu.
Mrs Watson says she and her team will be using all of their experience to provide a "really good" dining experience seating a total of 50 guests.
She added: "We've got a good reputation for food - we've been doing this a very long time.
"I hope everyone enjoys the restaurant."