Philip Turner speaks to The Caterer about all things 'Chestnut'

November 10, 2017

By snapping up underperforming businesses in East Anglia and bringing in investment, the Chestnut Group has built a multifarious brand in just five years,  as its founder Philip Turner explains to Tessa Allingham.


The Suffolk village of Long Melford swoons with pastel-prettiness. Its picture-perfect cottages line the slope from the green up to the magnificent 15th-century wool church as if on permanent photographic standby. Tourists, full of Lovejoy fantasies, can’t get enough.


To be honest, the Black Lion lets the side down a bit, in a state of undress beneath tarped scaffolding, and loud with the clatter of refurbishment.


A banner on one side of the corner plot proclaims the Chestnut Group’s ownership of the Georgian building and the date when the pub will be ready for business. There are new limestone and oak floors to be laid; original sash windows, fireplaces, dado rails,  and doorways renovated; armchairs reupholstered; a spanking new kitchen installed; and staff recruited – all before 1 November.


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