A year-long labour of love comes to fruition this weekend when a stunning new pub restaurant finally opens its doors to drinkers and diners.
The Fox, in the village of Folksworth, had been closed for almost three years when Dinesh Odedra and his sister Prafulla Gorania - the team behind the fine dining venue Clarkes in Peterborough city centre and its more casual sister establishment Cafe Clarkes - snapped it up last year.
The St John’s Square restaurant closed at New Year, and the Key Theatre-based venue some weeks later. Now the teams have relocated to Folksworth, where there will be a dedicated “pub” area, giving the village a “local” once more, something that has gone down very well.
“You could call it a labour of love,” said a relieved Prafulla with the opening just days away.
“The minute I walked through the door I fell in love with the place, even though it was in such a state having been closed for some years. But I saw the potential, it was like a blank canvas waiting for someone to give it a little TLC.”
And that someone was Prafulla, who describes the new look of the place as “modern with a country feel.”
She added: “I think people will like the family friendly feel we are looking to create. It will be comfortable and modern with a country cosiness about it.”
Work began in the summer, though the first projected opening date - November - soon came and went as the full scale of the renovation became apparent. The addition of a cellar added to the timescale headache.
And a few last-minute snags meant an Easter opening was missed, before this weekend’s opening was finally confirmed.
The internal refurbishment has been extensive and hugely expensive, with renovations from the floor right up to the roof.
But the result will see drinkers walk into a huge new bar area, complete with its own seating for bar food. The rear is glass topped like a sun room and opens out to a huge patio with bi-fold doors.
“The pub side of the business is very important to us but also to people in the village, who have been very interested in finding out when we will be open,” said Prafulla.
A door to the right takes diners through to the 100-plus cover restaurant, where the food will sit somewhere between the fine dining previously offered at Clarkes and the more casual Cafe establishment.
“Top end bistro,” says Prafulla, “from a set menu and an a la carte menu.
“There will also be a bar menu and a regular chef’s table experience, where the head chefs - Kenny Bradford and Sam Bateman - will put on special menus, serve the food and get involved.”