New proprietor of Lavenham hotel hopes to ‘rebuild local relationships’ after decline since celeb chef ownership

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The new owner of The Angel Hotel and pub in Lavenham, Suffolk, is bidding to ‘rebuild local relationships’ following a decline in the property’s local trade since it was previously owned by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White.

The Angel was taken over by John Raynes in February, who now wants to put the community back at the heart of the business, and says he has already received a ‘warm reception’.

The business was previously in the hands of Pierre White who owned the hotel from 2011 until 2015, when he sold it to a pub company who already had three properties in the area.

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During his ownership, White reportedly became involved in a row with locals when he barred some of the regulars and stopped serving some popular drinks. He also hacked off Babergh council when he painted the building the wrong shade for Suffolk pink.

Now Raynes wants to make the hotel a ‘village pub’ once again, and will focus on looking to build the local trade, introducing a regional butcher and launching a loyalty card for locals.

He said the building itself, which dates back to 1420, mainly just needs some care and attention, but he does have plans to reintroduce a beer garden.

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