New era for Caston pub

The new landlords of a historic village pub due to reopen this week are excited about their new challenge.

Husband and wife team, Carrie and Barry Ackrill, will be running the Red Lion in Caston, near Watton, which has stood next to village green for more than 250 years.

The opening night is taking place tomorrow night, from 6pm until 11pm, and the pub will be open for business the following day, from 10am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday.

Mrs Ackrill, 33, said: 'Our aim is to provide good home cooked local food at an affordable price so that everyone in our community can afford to enjoy coming here for a meal. We need to make it affordable in the economic climate we are in.'

The landlady will be in charge of the kitchen and dishes cooked at the pub will include stews, hotpots and other similar rustic dishes. She added that the majority of dishes will cost no more than �15.

Mr Ackrill, 62, will work on the bar along with six other members of staff, all from the Caston area. Two people from the village have also been employed to work in the kitchen.

The couple moved to Norfolk six weeks ago from Leicestershire, where they ran the Pig in Muck pub for four years and the Cross Keys pub for 10 years.

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Mrs Ackrill said: 'I feel excited. I'm looking forward to a challenge because Norfolk is a new area for us. A pub is very important part of a village, particularly a small village like Caston.'

The Grade II-listed building has always been called the Red Lion, which closed in 2007.

Mr and Mrs Ackrill bought the pub two years ago and the building's refurbishment started in May this year.

Tradesmen from the area have been used and the refurbishment has cost in excess of �200,000, according to Mrs Ackrill.

George Freeman, Mid-Norfolk MP, added: 'I am delighted the Red Lion is opening and it is tremendously good news for the people of Caston. Village pubs are hugely important for rural communities, giving us places to meet and encouraging visitors to the area.'

To contact the pub, ring 01953 483858.