Quarter-million transformation at Long Sutton pub

Sean Portass outside Palmers, renovated pub/hotel, at 46 Market Place, Long Sutton'Work in progress on hotel, Sean Portass and Dana Garkavaya pictured outside ANL-150522-132911001
Sean Portass outside Palmers, renovated pub/hotel, at 46 Market Place, Long Sutton'Work in progress on hotel, Sean Portass and Dana Garkavaya pictured outside ANL-150522-132911001
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A ‘spit and sawdust’ pub in the heart of Long Sutton has become a fabulous boutique hotel, bar and restaurant.

Around £250,000 – and months of hard work – have transformed the Market Place Turpins bar into a stylish place to eat, sleep and drink.

... it was just a grubby little spit and sawdust pub and now it’s a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant with eight letting bedrooms.

Sean Portass

The new lease of life comes with a new name, Palmers Ale House and Kitchen, but the link with the legendary highwayman Dick Turpin remains because John Palmer was his alias.

Sean Portass and partner Dana Garkavaya have lined up a huge celebration when Palmers opens its doors at 7pm on Friday, June 5 with live music from The Marcarno’s, a top Norwich acoustic four-piece band.

The party continues over the weekend with a Peterborough rock and roll band, The Glorious One Eyed Cats, appearing from 7pm on the Saturday and a jazz and swing afternoon on the Sunday.

Changes at Palmers that are there for all to see include a new thatched roof and an exterior colour change from mellow magnolia to Suffolk pink.

But the interior has seen massive changes too.

Sean said: “We bought Turpins in August last year and we started work immediately – it was terrible, it was just a grubby little spit and sawdust pub and now it’s a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant with eight letting bedrooms.”

The newly refurbished rooms blend contemporary design with the oldest parts of the building.

Another new design feature is the bi-fold doors which open up onto a cosy courtyard.

Palmers will maintain a farm to fork standard, using the freshest of local fare for lunchtime snacks, evening meals and big functions.

As well as being a gastro pub, Palmers will have a selection of real ales on tap and guest ales as well as lagers, wines and spirits.

• The Red Lion at Holbeach has been added to the Sean Portass “empire” and is next in line for a makeover.

As well as Palmers, he has The Granary and The Old Ship Inn, both at Long Sutton, The Rising Sun at Gedney Drove End and The Riverside at Sutton Bridge.

Sean hopes the transformation at The Red Lion will take about six months.

He said: “We are going to do something very similar to what we did at The Granary – turn it back into an old fashioned, proper pub. We are going to put hotel rooms onto that as well.”

Features will include a courtyard, bigger kitchen and a roomier interior.

Sean said: “It’s a little bit higgledy piggledy at the moment.”

Work will start two weeks after the opening of Palmers Ale House and Kitchen – meanwhile Sean can’t wait to for people’s reactions when they see inside Palmers for the first time.

He said: “I am hoping everyone will be more than pleasantly surprised.”