New Fakenham restaurant is a ‘natural progression’, claims tea room owner

The Wisteria Tea Room is becoming The Wisteria restaurant. Owner Samantha Holsey (right) with her da

The Wisteria Tea Room is becoming The Wisteria restaurant. Owner Samantha Holsey (right) with her daughter Kirstin. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A businesswoman is opening a restaurant at her successful Fakenham tea room, which opened three years ago.

Samantha Holsey has been dishing up tea and homemade cakes in the Wisteria Tea Room since 2015.

And the business in Newmans Yard, off Norwich Street, is being transformed into The Wisteria restaurant, named after the climbing plant.

She said: “We are not spending much on it. We will have new curtains, place mats, and will give it a more updated feel. We will also have a new logo and new signage.”

The business is closing on Saturday, November 3, and reopening under the new name on Tuesday, November 6.

She added: “I always wanted to run a tea room. I got it, and that’s great, but the business has digressed. We served rabbit on the menu last weekend and pheasant and we will be open for Christmas parties. I feel this is a natural progression.

“The new business will do more in the way of lunches. We cannot change the number of seats we have, 22, with the building we’ve got.” She said they were No 1 on Trip Advisor in Fakenham, and believes the future for restaurants in the north Norfolk market town is bright, even though it could be better promoted, she said.

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“If you look after your customers, they will look after you.” she added. “We go the extra mile.”

Four staff are employed at the tea rooms and she would like to have an alcohol licence by next summer.

She added: “We will pretty much keep the same opening times. Fakenham is never full of people during the winter.”

There are at least five other eateries in the town, but she added: “I would like to think we are slightly different.”

Her daughter Kirstin, a phd student at Canterbury, helps out at the business from Friday to Sunday.

The tea rooms used to be D’Inacios Brasserie restaurant which closed before she moved in.

She spruced up the interior when she took over, hanging its walls with works by Norfolk artists, featuring views of the coast and further afield.