MEET the new landlady and landlord of Coldham Hall, flush from a busy first few days at their reopened, refurbished and revitalised Surlingam pub. The doors opened on Sunday – a gloriously manic first day which saw Natalie and George Linder serve 120 meals with another 50-odd people coming in for a drink. “We thought we’d be able to walk round, have a chat, get to know people” said George. “In reality we were pinned down behind the bar from 11am till 10pm there were so many people. We had a few teething troubles. The extractor fan broke down, taking the gas supply with it for a while and the fire alarms kept going off too. But the great thing was that people were very understanding, they knew it was day one.” Things were quieter tonight of course, but I was impressed. This was very much a reccie. What did the food look like? Could I bring the missus here? Have they torn the heart out of it? Very good, yes and no. So who are they aiming at? Well George knows his river and knows his boats. (Yachtmaster badge, Brooms of Brundall, year in the Caribbean, enough said.) But it’s the locals he wants to woo …the 12 month a year people that he clearly thinks will make the difference between success and failure. “Too many pubs rely on the summer trade from the river and that makes them lazy. We’ve got quite strong views on how we want it to work. We want locally sourced food for example. We’ve been to so many pubs on the river where you wouldn’t want to return.” Well this one’s well worth a second visit. Here’s a toast (with a pint of Humpty Dumpty’s finest Reedcutter) to a reborn Coldham Hall.