'People are longing for parties' - Businesses see Christmas bookings rush

Owners Anthony and Jeannette Goodrich with The Rose & Crown's new outdoor beach hut bar.

Owners of the Rose and Crown in Snettisham, Anthony and Jeannette Goodrich. - Credit: AW PR

Norfolk businesses are hopeful this Christmas will be a busy one, with bookings already coming in and people "longing for parties".

Restaurants and bar owners say bookings for the festive occasion have been arriving, with Christmas being a crucial time for trade.

Pam Gillman, landlady at the Black Horse in Thetford, said people are "booking up fast", with their first Christmas booking having come in July.

Terry and Pam Gillman, owners of the Black Horse pub in Thetford, have invested in four log cabins.

Terry and Pam Gillman, owners of the Black Horse pub in Thetford - Credit: Archant

She said: "They know to book here as soon as, so they were already asking the question back in July.

"We have quite a few booked in already."


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She added that people have been celebrating anniversaries and birthdays they had missed last year.

"People were 50 last year but are celebrating it with their families this year," she said. "So that's quite nice."

Stephen Hutton, managing director of Middletons Steakhouse and Grill, which has restaurants in Norwich and King's Lynn, said there has been "large demand", with bookings coming in from August.

Middletons managing director Stephen Hutton. Photo: Steve Adams

Middletons managing director Stephen Hutton. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve adams

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He said: "People want to get back to normality. Christmas was a wash-out last year. A lot of people could not see their friends or family so people are looking to make the most of it."

Anthony Goodrich, owner of the Rose and Crown in Snettisham, said they went live with Christmas party bookings last week and have been receiving lots of enquiries.

Anthony and Jeanette Goodrich, who own the Rose and Crown pub in Snettisham. Picture: Archant

Anthony and Jeanette Goodrich, who own the Rose and Crown pub in Snettisham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Matthew Usher

He said: "We've put on an extra two party nights where we provide a free disco as part of the service. I'm expecting it to be really busy.

"I think we will be turning people away, but we're doing non-party nights, and Christmas dinners as well.

"We're quite certain the demand will keep going. I think people are just longing for parties."

That sentiment was shared by Gez Chetal, owner of the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford, who said they have received enquiries for most days throughout December, with the first coming in two months ago.

Gez Chetal, owner of The Thomas Paine Hotel, in Thetford.

Gez Chetal, owner of The Thomas Paine Hotel, in Thetford. - Credit: Archant

He said: "It's like people have just come our of their shells. Everyone wants to come back out again, we're inundated at the moment with restaurant bookings as well, and functions birthday parties."

Emily Phipps, landlady at The Angel in Watlington, said she has already had a few Christmas Day bookings.

Emily Phipps with son and Richard Crouch outside The Angel in Watlington. Picture: Emily Phipps

Emily Phipps with son and Richard Crouch outside The Angel in Watlington. Picture: Emily Phipps - Credit: Archant


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