Former landlords of a Norfolk pub are now the toast of a French town.

John and Lynda Hamps, who formerly ran the Queen's Head in Earsham, near Bungay, took over the Hotel de France in Chamberet in 2021 and established a brewery using French ingredients to brew an English-style beer.  

Their main brew is called Entente Cordiale, in recognition of the friendly relations between the locals and the English ex-pat community who live in the area. 

The Hamps are now celebrating after three distinguished French parliamentary senators, the equivalent of our House of Lords, presented them with a medal of inauguration. 

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The couple are not having the 'quiet semi-retirement' they hoped for, but are loving life in FranceThe couple are not having the 'quiet semi-retirement' they hoped for, but are loving life in France (Image: Submitted)

Mr Hamps said: "It was a great honour to receive a medal of inauguration in Chamberet.

"Whilst we miss our friends back in Earsham, Chamberet has a very similar community who work hard and enjoy socialising at the end of the day with a pint or two of good beer."

The local area is a National Park famous for its wildlife, in particular buzzards, which are called 'Buse' in French.

In a fun twist on words, the hotel brewery is called ‘Brasserie de Buse’.

Mr and Mrs Hamps originally bought a house in the French town in 2009 and made many trips over to renovate it.

The couple always had plans of opening a bar and continuing their famous Norfolk brews abroad, but didn't know when this would happen.

In 2019, their short stay, due to the pandemic, turned into a long stay and they agreed to rent the French hotel.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Lynda and John Hamps having been presented with their awardLynda and John Hamps having been presented with their award (Image: Submitted)

Mrs Hamps said: "In a conversation with the owners we told them of our plans and they suggested we reopen the hotel and install the brewery there.

"Due to Covid, our two-month trip turned into eleven months during which time we agreed to rent the hotel and start the process of installing the brewery.

"Fast forward to now and we have been open almost two years and aren’t quite having the semi-retirement we originally planned.

"We have been made very welcome by the residents of Chamberet who are pleased the Hotel de France is open again and many of them love the English ale and the occasional roast beef on a Sunday."

The Queen's Head in Earsham is now run by the couple's son Jack.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The Earsham Queens HeadThe Earsham Queens Head (Image: Google)