Rural pub undergoes transformation with new management

Owner Jay Meades and manager, Hannah Besseyat the newly refurbished Duke's Head at Somerleyton, wit

Owner Jay Meades and manager, Hannah Bessey at the newly refurbished Duke's Head at Somerleyton, with pub dog Duke. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

A rural Suffolk pub has been transformed under new management who are looking forward to welcoming in locals and tourists alike for the winter season.

Jay Meades, 30, who is current owner of the White Lion in Wheatacre, decided to also take over the reins of the Duke's Head in Somerleyton in July 2021 alongside new manager Hannah Bessey. 

From September 7 until October 29, the pub was closed for some major refurbishment work, giving the pub a welcoming and cosy feel.

Owner Jay Meades in the newly refurbished consrvatory at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DE

Owner Jay Meades in the newly refurbished consrvatory at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mr Meades oversaw much of the refurbishment work and said: "We've undertaken so much refurbishment work and have now opened our doors to customers again.

"It's lovely to open with a fresh start and the pub has been re-decorated throughout.

"We've gone for a lot warmer and cosier feel, transforming the conservatory, replacing the previous concrete flooring and installing a bookcase.

"We've also got a nice snug area, new curtains throughout, gutted the kitchen and changed the toilets as well."

The newly refurbished bar at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

The newly refurbished bar at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton has a cosy feel ready for the winter. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

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To mark the occasion of re-opening after a month and a half, the team at the Duke's Head hosted a launch party.

Mr Meades said: "We hosted a launch party on Saturday and it was such a great success.

"It was great to talk to some of the locals because being fairly new here we are all still getting to know them.

"We've also got a great new fresh team here.

"Our head chef Steve Duffield is back in the kitchen and will be creating some great food which we know everyone will love."

Head chef Steve Duffield in his newly refurbished kitchen in the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE

Head chef Steve Duffield in his newly refurbished kitchen in the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mr Meades will be between both the Wheatacre White Lion and the Duke's Head and is excited for what the winter and future have in store for the pub.

He added: "We are definitely excited for what the future holds here at the Duke's Head now.

"We've got a great festive menu ready and when it gets quieter in January and February another winter menu as well.

"Since becoming the owner here, me, Hannah and all the other staff love it.

"It's a great location and we can't wait to welcome lots of people with open arms."

The newly refurbished snug at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

The newly refurbished snug at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

The newly refurbished conservatoryat the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

The newly refurbished conservatory at the Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

The Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

The Duke's Head at Somerleyton. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Denise Bradley

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