Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Property seeks budding Jamies Oliver

“Add a New Twist to Life at the Peppermill”


ANYONE tired out by the daily grind, and longing to share their culinary craft with a wider audience than just their partner and a pampered pooch, could add a new twist to life at the Peppermill, a popular little restaurant for sale in beautiful Clare, Suffolk.

Occupying a portion of an historic building dating back to 1325, part of the former Moot Hall in Well Lane, this 18-seater tasty little gem was founded almost 25 years ago by its current owners, Roger and Julene Steele, and is a popular haunt for locals as well as for some passing celebrities.

Former diners have included Martin Jarvis, who became quite a regular when in the area, and the pop group Katrina and the Waves, who used to bring the entire crew in for breakfast when they were recording at a studio nearby.

In recent years, the Steeles have mostly only opened for teas and lunches five days a week. But the restaurant, which currently has a liquor licence, has permission to function between 9.30 and midnight, so there is plenty of scope to expand the business for someone with the energy and ambition to succeed, says Roger.

The Peppermill now requires some modernisation. Two upper rooms, which could provide owners’ accommodation with a bathroom created from one of the two customer’s cloakrooms, are now “pretty derelict”, according to Roger, and the kitchen could also use some updating. But the restaurant, over 22ft long and partially divided by open studwork, is delightful, with its heavy timbering and inglenook fireplace. There is a bar area to one side, and a pretty garden outside to the rear. There is a right of access across a neighbouring property, particularly useful for removal of dustbins.

The freehold is offered at £170,000 through agents BYchoice (0800 028 2300), a price acknowledging that more expenditure will be necessary. Roger believes an additional £50,000 should cover the work required.

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