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Griffin Inn pub to open in Irnham

The historic Griffin Inn at Irnham is set to fly again by the end of the Summer.

After the previous operators left the pub six months ago, the 200-year-old venue on Bulby Road has been taken over by the Irnham Estate.

For the past seven years, Jamie and Leila Benton Jones have been running a successful wedding and events business at their 14th Century Irnham Hall.

Jamie and Leila Benton Jones (8813366)
Jamie and Leila Benton Jones (8813366)

In recent months, they have been using the pub to offer six bedrooms for wedding guests, with the pub open for guests and the public on Friday evening and for guests on Saturday lunchtimes.

But once work is done to the kitchen, and a manager recruited to work with the chef they have found, the Griffin Inn will return to being a ‘proper’ village pub with dining and rooms.

The meals will be ‘modern British food’, traditional roasts, not a huge menu, plus pudding.

Jamie, who previously worked as a builder in London, before taking over the family estate, has been working on revamping and restoring the property with wife Leila.

Newfurniture and beds have been installed, along with other items, pushing the bill into the tens of thousands. But with Jamie and Leila also doing much of the work themselves, they have been able to do so much more with their budgets.

They have also used small, local tradespeople and suppliers in their efforts, saying they have all done a ‘brilliant’ job.

The revamp includes a new reception room and a 24 cover small dining room.

Jamie and Leila behind the bar (8820396)
Jamie and Leila behind the bar (8820396)

Leila, whose background is in banking and ‘head-hunting’, said: “We run weddings in Irnham Hall. A lot of our guests liked to stay in the pub. It was a disaster for our couples when the pub closed.”

Wedding customers, she explained, like the idea of marrying at a country house and staying in a traditional village pub, just like in the film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’

Thus, the rooms were restored, all with en-suite and many with characterful fireplaces.

Jamie said: “We have gutted the pub. We are trying to create an amazing building, making staying here an experience.”

Leila also wants to put on events in the pub, such as beer festivals. She also plans to work with local clubs and societies in making the Griffin an important ‘hub’ in the community.

They also want to instal a playground outside, using logs and tree trunks, saying their children love such equipment.

The couple also have five luxury holiday lets in the village, all within walking distance of the Griffin Inn.

They are both keen for Irnham to attract younger residents and report some success fromfamily of wedding couples buying homes in the village.

Click here to read about a Stamford pub set to open 30 minutes longer.

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