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Framlingham is the place for TV star's new restaurant

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Framlingham is set to go Italian in April after it was announced that a TV star is set to open a new restaurant there.

Watson and Walpole will be run by Ruth Watson, presenter of the Hotel Inspector on Channel 5 between 2005 and 2008. It will take the place of the closed Lemon Tree Bistro, in Church Street.

Mrs Watson said: “I have been in this business for nearly 40 years and I just love restaurants.

Ruth Watson at Gissing Hall in 2010 as part of Channel 4’s Country House Rescue programme.
Ruth Watson at Gissing Hall in 2010 as part of Channel 4’s Country House Rescue programme.

“When the opportunity came up, we thought it would be great to have this in Framlingham as it is such a lovely and busy market town.”

The soon-to-be 50-seater restaurant is currently being fully refurbished for a grand opening and the former Good Food Guide inspector feels that the choice of food for the new place will be right up everyone’s street.

She said: “I know lots of people like cuisines such as Chinese, Indian or Korean, but, when you go out as a group, there will always be someone there that will say they like it, but do not love it.

“With Italian cuisine, I feel everyone enjoys something from it, whether it be pizza, risottos or pasta, and it has such a great and wide appeal to people, due to its variety of dishes.”

The food writer has previously run places such as the prestigious Hintlesham Hall near Ipswich, the Fox and Goose, in Fressingfield, and the Crown and Castle in Orford, which she owned with her husband, David, for 18 years and sold in October 2017.

Mrs Watson said the new venture, with business partners Rob Walpole and Stefan Babel, has already had an incredible amount of interest – not just from its future diners, but from people wanting to work there, too.

The restaurant will be employing around seven full-time as well as some part-time staff and will use sustainable produce, using the Italian and English seasons, as guides for what it puts on its plates.

The main part of the business for Mrs Watson is that all her customers enjoy what they are set to offer and take their time during their experience at Watson and Walpole.

She said: “I hope we will bring professionalism and a touch of elegance with a very relaxed, casual, approachable and thoughtful service to our customers.

“And, with the food, I want friends and families to feel relaxed, too, enjoying the taste and feel of being in Italy – though we can’t promise the sunshine and weather.”

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