Boss takes over country inn owned by Jamie Oliver’s parents
- Credit: Archant
A Norfolk boss of a group of inns has taken over a country pub that was home to famous chef Jamie Oliver.
Philip Turner, who runs the Chestnut Group, with beautiful venues across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex including the Globe at Wells-Next-The-Sea has acquired the Cricketers in Clavering, Essex owned by Trevor and Sally Oliver. They are retiring after 44 years of running the inn.
The property was home to Jamie Oliver and the inspiration for his cooking career.
“We are delighted to have acquired The Cricketers, an inn we’ve wanted to add to our growing collection for some time,” said Mr Turner, founder of Chestnut. “The way the business is managed – with a strong emphasis on good quality food with accommodation – makes it a perfect fit for our collection.
“We already know the area well, as we have The Eight Bells in Saffron Walden, and with such a strong existing offer we don’t plan to make any significant changes to the property in the short term.
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“We will focus on maintaining its well-deserved reputation. We do, however, look forward to getting to know the team and guests and building on all the hard work and energy Trevor and Sally have put into the business over the years. Whilst some may question if this is the right time for us to acquire The Cricketers, our view and commitment is long term, this is a hugely successful business with strong foundations, we have full confidence in its future potential.”
Mr Turner operated meals for those in need during lockdown and recently did a shift washing dishes in one of his kitchens when the team were short-staffed.
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Jamie Oliver’s father, Trevor Oliver said; “We have had an amazing time running the inn, which has been our home for the last 44 years. We brought up our children, trained and supported hundreds of staff in the hospitality sector and made many friends for life. But with a great team and strong support from our loyal customers in place we felt it was the right time to move on. So, we have taken the decision to hand over the keys to Chestnut and look forward to seeing the next phase in the life of The Cricketers from the other side of the bar.”
Chestnut has 12 inns and restaurants spread across East Anglia. The group also has a strong commitment to developing and enhancing its acquisitions and recently completed a significant renovation project during lockdown at The Crown in Westleton in Suffolk.