Pubs in two Norfolk towns are ready and raring to go for the start of the year and expect a great 2024, landlords have said.

Paul Sandford, landlord of The Railway Tavern in Dereham, and Alie May-Hannam, landlady of The Crown in Fakenham, are looking ahead to the next 12 months as they prepare for another year of trading.

Mr Sandford said that his pub is bucking the trend of a quiet start to the year, with strong party bookings and weekly meets - alongside their regulars - meaning they have a full diary to kick off 2024.

“Our diary for this year is filling nicely and we are extremely optimistic for what 2024 will hold,” he said.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Paul Sandford, landlord of The Railway Tavern in DerehamPaul Sandford, landlord of The Railway Tavern in Dereham (Image: Archant)

“I can not deny being a little excited for the grandstand returning for Euro 2024 in June, after our early bird tickets sold out in three hours.

"On the takeaway side of the business, we are launching our delivery service with Just Eat on January 11, which we hope will allow those unable to get in to see us to enjoy our food.

“We have also launched a full range of zero-alcohol beer including a new draft ale so people who are taking part in Dry January can still visit us. We have to move and evolve with the times and relish the challenges that 2024 brings, so bring it on.”

This year is already expected to be a busy one for Mrs May-Hannam after she launched Delia’s Kitchen in December - a new cafe inside Meadow Walk, an assisted living centre on Trinity Road in Fakenham.

She has promised to split her time between her two businesses and hopes this year will be a great one for her pub in the town centre.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Alie May-Hannam, landlady of The Crown in FakenhamAlie May-Hannam, landlady of The Crown in Fakenham (Image: Alie May-Hannam)

“I’m a positive person and always look for new ideas for The Crown,” she said.

"We have lots of music events planned, quiz nights, and more we are working on.
“We are going to have an amazing year because I have a great team at The Crown.

"I already have fantastic regulars, and I’m just looking forward to the warm summer days when people enjoy sitting outside in the sunshine eating and drinking, listening to music.”