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Publicans cook up free meals to entire emergency service workforces

A pub landlord in Wortham is dishing out free meals to key workers during the coronavirus pandemic – sometimes cooking up to 30 meals at a time.

Nish Intraval, landlord of the Manor House pub in Bury Road, has been contacting key services and offering free meals to every single member of staff.

Alongside his partner, Sukanya Knight, the pair tirelessly prepare dishes for dozens of people – ready to be collected.

Nish Intraval and his partner Sukanya Knight have been cooking meals for up to 30 people at a time.
Nish Intraval and his partner Sukanya Knight have been cooking meals for up to 30 people at a time.

Mr Intraval said: “I saw a lot of posts online of people coming back from work and crying because there was nothing on the shelves.

“We haven’t done a great deal of business but we want to keep the community going and we want to give them a little bit of support. There might be a lot of people who don’t have time to get something for lunch.”

So far, the pair have cooked 60 meals for staff at West Suffolk Hospital and Botesdale Health Centre, and 30 meals for staff at Diss Fire Station and Diss Ambulance Station.

Yet, for all their charitable work, the pair – like much of the hospitality sector – remain deeply worried about when the Manor House may be able to welcome guests again.

Mr Intraval said that having to abide by social distancing measures would be unsustainable for the business – should it be allowed to reopen.

The 53-year-old said: “It’s difficult, because I’ve seen the news that we can open at some point, but, with social distancing, we’d only be able to have about 20 people in at a time, so it wouldn’t be worth opening.

“We’re worried – it’s hard for us now, and we don’t know what we were going to do, but a lot of people have lost their business – so I guess we are lucky.”

Mr Intraval – a former chef in his native Thailand before working at a series of high-end restaurants in London – took over the Manor House Pub in Bury Road five years ago, establishing a reputation as the only pub in East Anglia to serve authentic Thai cuisine, drawing in customers from all over the county.

Anyone interested in arranging a meal for collection should call 01379 898228.

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