The Chestnut Group further extends their portfolio in East Anglia with the purchase of The Black Lion hotel in Long Melford

August 18, 2017

Locals and visitors to Long Melford on the Suffolk/Essex border are eagerly awaiting the reopening of the much loved Black Lion after The Chestnut Group purchased the building

at the end of July.


Philip Turner, Founder of the Chestnut Group, said “we are very excited about acquiring The Black Lion; it has a great history and fits our portfolio perfectly. Our team members and the local community are passionate about this site and are very excited about this new chapter” The Black Lion is in the process of being “Chestnutted” (to quote Charlotte Smith-Jarvis, EADT) with a sensitive refurbishment embracing the character and history of the building.


The Chestnut Group is known for creating truly unique spaces for people to eat, drink and stay. The Black Lion will be no exception; the plan will be for the bar, restaurant and ‘garden room’ to be open in Autumn, with further work on the bedrooms once the business is open. The Black Lion will be re-established at the heart of the community welcoming locals, dog walkers, visitors and business travellers in the refurbished bar and sitting room. Philip Turner said, “Our aim is for The Black Lion to be a place that locals are proud of and a destination of choice for the growing number of visitors to the area each year. We are a Suffolk-based business investing heavily across the region to showcase what East Anglia has to offer in terms of food, attractions, countryside and hospitality.”


Images of the work in progress can be viewed at

The team will be serving breakfast (open to non residents), lunch, afternoon tea and dinner seven days a week The new menu will focus on uncomplicated and simple British food, influenced by the seasons, the land and the sea. Dishes will be fresh with daily changing specials through to rustic stone baked pizza’s from the new oven. The Black Lion team have been working at other Chestnut Group sites, including The Northgate (hotel, bar and restaurant) in Bury St Edmunds, The Packhorse Inn and The Blackbirds Inn in Newmarket and The Rupert Brooke in Cambridge whilst the renovation

is underway.


In addition to the current team members, the new team at The Black Lion will include the first graduate of The Chestnut Academy. The Academy was set up in 2015 to offer vocational training and a guaranteed management position for those wanting a career in hospitality.


Philip Turner, said “The academy has been an overwhelming success. We currently have eight fantastic students on the academy who are looking forward to starting their management career with The Chestnut Group”. The Chestnut Group will be announcing the new menu, events and team-member vacancies on The Black Lion website soon.


For all media requests, including interviews and imagery, please contact Nick Bridges on 01284 339692 or



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About The Chestnut Group

The Chestnut Group was established in 2012 with the vision to become one of the country’s leading innovators in delivering quality hospitality experiences through fantastic food, quality service and stylish interiors. The Group’s first opening was the Packhorse Inn, near Newmarket, which has been

awarded five stars (Silver Award) for its accommodation. The portfolio also includes The Rupert Brooke in Cambridge, and The Northgate in Bury St Edmunds, which has recently been awarded five stars (Gold Award) for its accommodation, The White Horse in Easton near Framlingham and The Blackbirds Inn near Newmarket. The purchase of The Black Lion in Long Melford, a 10 bedroom hotel, pub and restaurant – due to open Autumn 2017, reflects The Group’s focus on establishing it’s hospitality footprint within East Anglia.

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