'People want to go all out' - Christmas bookings pour in to Fakenham venues

We asked venues in Fakenham about how busy they have been with Christmas bookings.

Fakenham venues say they are busy with Christmas bookings. - Credit: Archant/Cara Green

Jingle bells are still months away, but that hasn’t stopped the chimes of Fakenham venues’ phones as people ring to book for this year’s Christmas celebrations.

With last year seeing the rule of six, traditional festive season celebration with friends and work colleagues were put on the back burner as we all stayed at home to protect the NHS.

This year, we are hoping for more traditional Christmas parties ahead.

The Henry IV on Greenway Lane is planning a range of Christmas events this festive season.

The Henry IV on Greenway Lane is planning a range of Christmas events this festive season. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

At the Henry IV Pub in Fakenham, enquiries have been going on for months, but it has finally put out its booking forms for people to host their Christmas parties there.

Kevin Black, general manager, said: “We’ve had a lot of interest, so it is looking to be busy with how many enquiries I’ve received, and touch wood it is going to be just that.”


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The pub, which reopened earlier this year is also hosting community events, with a Christmas market, festive quizzes, and Disney and Marvel-themed breakfasts over December.

Kevin Black, new manager of the Henry IV pub in Fakenham.

Kevin Black, new manager of the Henry IV pub in Fakenham. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

At the Red Lion Lounge, which only opened its doors in August, enquiries have been coming in since it started serving the town.

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Jo Pizer-Inggs, general manager for the lounge, said its chefs are still working on their menu ahead of the Christmas period. Once this is done, bookings can begin.

Mrs Pizer-Inggs believes people are looking forward to getting out this year following the lockdowns: “I think because we didn't have New Year's or Christmas celebrations last year, people want to make up for it this time around and go all out.”

Andrea Zanchi, Duty Manager, Jo Pizer-inggs, Bar Manager/Sommelier, and Heather Pizer-inggs, Duty Ma

Jo Pizer-Inggs, (centre) was Bar Manager/Sommelier at The Ostrich Inn. She is now General Manager at the Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham. - Credit: Danielle Booden

This was echoed by Trudi Moulton, hospitality and events manager at Fakenham Racecourse.

Mrs Moulton said they’ve had a number of bookings already, as well as bookings for groups visiting the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. They only have a couple of days left where people can book the venue.

She believes that people are just looking forward to getting back together: “I think people are chomping at the bit to get out. They could not do anything last year and this year they want to be out with everyone, friends, family and colleagues.”

Bookings for Christmas at Fakenham Racecourse have been coming in for a number of weeks. 

Bookings for Christmas at Fakenham Racecourse have been coming in for a number of weeks. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Cara Green at the Sculthorpe Aviator said bookings from last year have also carried over, along with this year's visitors. They are also taking on those visiting the Christmas spectacular.

“A few bookings have started already, with some even going back to a few months ago,” Mrs Green said.

“Our other place, Sands in Wells, is already fully booked.

Co-owner of the Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham, Cara Green. Picture: Cara Green

Co-owner of the Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham, Cara Green. Picture: Cara Green - Credit: Archant

“Table occupancy is higher. It is possible that people just all need a good catch up after such a long time apart. We support the larger tables but still keep them apart from other larger tables to prevent any uncertainty.”

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