CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today CLICK HERE

Chipping in

PUBLISHED: 09:28 13 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:28 13 August 2013

Hugh Crossley, 4th Baron Somerleyton, at home in the magnificent Somerleyton Hall with wife Lara and two children

Hugh Crossley, 4th Baron Somerleyton, at home in the magnificent Somerleyton Hall with wife Lara and two children

Archant

Tucking into a box of chips, perched at a table inside his new business, the enthusiasm of Hugh Crossley, Lord Somerleyton, is infectious. Since opening Hot Chip in the centre of Norwich in June, he has, he laughs, become somewhat of a chip aficionado.

“We have something like 12,000 fish and chip shops in the UK, but in Holland and Belgium it is very much just about the chips with these amazing adventurous toppings and flavourings. I loved the idea of that and began doing some research. I realised there were several traditional chip salons in the UK still, and some of the best are on Great Yarmouth market,” he says. “We are surrounded by farming here in Norfolk so I like the idea of a business with a foot in local agriculture and produce and a foot firmly in the modern fast food world.”

The menu is certainly very different, turning classic flavours on their heads, such as the Arabesque, the Sunday Roast and Chip Salad. With Steve Duffield, head chef for both Hot Chip and the Somerleyton Estate, they are constantly coming up with new ideas. “I think Steve despairs sometimes,” he laughs. “We are soon going to test run our Mint Choc Hot Chip flavour, which has certainly been a fun challenge.”

He and business partner Toby Marchant are ambitious about the future of the business, but for now he is very pleased to be launching it in Norwich.

“I would be so proud if we become successful so I could say we launched here, in my home city. But,” he laughs, “I am also nervous because I am very aware that if I don’t succeed everyone will know about it. You cannot hide here like you can in London.”

Having returned to Somerleyton Hall seven years ago following the death of his father, the third Lord Somerleyton, Hugh Crossley has a renewed vigour and enthusiasm for his childhood home.

He and wife Lara are working hard to transform the grand hall, deemed one of the best examples of Tudor-Jacobean architecture, to ensure more people can enjoy its beauty and to secure its future for generations to come.

“When I arrived I was younger and more naive, and questioned focusing so much attention on the hall which needed so much time and money spent on it. So I focused on other areas of the estate and business. Now we realise the hall is essential to the future of the estate.”

As the fourth generation to live in the beautiful stately home, he is clearly very sentimental about the estate but with the help of Lara, is gradually making changes and hiring out more of the historic house for weddings, parties and events.

“We are opening up the part of the house where my family historically would have lived in the good old days and we now live in what would have been the servants’ quarters, which is perfect for family life. It is an odd thing that 100 years ago my family would have been looked after by servants but now the role has almost been reversed. But I love that, I think it would be a bad thing to live in a house like this and not share it.”

Now with two young children, John and Christabel, he says it has made him appreciate the hall even more and reminded him of the wonderful childhood he enjoyed at Somerleyton.

“I think there is part of your brain that stores all your childhood memories and keeps them safe until you have children. I love doing all the things with my children that my dad did here with me. I get very upset if I can’t find a certain old Ladybird book to read to John which I know I used to be read as a child and is somewhere in the house still.”

More from People

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The battlefields of the Somme contain many thousands of graves for those who fell in the Great War. But only one cemetery bears the name of our county. As we prepare to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, Stacia Briggs visits Norfolk Cemetery for a very personal pilgrimage

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A bomb blast changed Dan Majid’s life for ever. Now the Norfolk PE teacher is ready to represent his country again

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

As he prepares for the auction of the fabulous Break hares, the charity’s patron Jake Humphrey reveals he is hoping to add to his own collection of GoGo creatures

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Humans and Other Animals exhibition will mark 25 years since the artist’s death

Read more
October 2018

Whatever your age, whatever your ambition, whatever your ability, Total Ensemble creates inclusive theatre with extraordinary results both on stage and off it

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The new novel by Sarah Perry is out this month. It’s frighteningly good, writes Rowan Mantell

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Explorer, adventurer and UEA graduate Benedict Allen is set to reveal all about his controversial Papua New Guinea expedition when he appears in Norwich this month

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

If your child has recently finished their studies and is considering what to do next, teaching English abroad can be a fantastic experience, both professionally and personally

Read more
September 2018

Tucked away in a small village, a trust is working hard to preserve a unique part of our shopping history

Read more
September 2018
Monday, September 10, 2018

We discover the story behind a beautiful pedal boat being built in Norfolk and meet the craft’s remarkable creator

Read more
September 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search