winterton-on-sea

As well as a revamp they gave it a new name - Poppy's, after their dog - and as the months passed they began to give it a new direction. Customers could still use the Post Office services, pick up their newspapers and grab essentials, but they could also buy local gin, wine and crafts.

winterton-on-sea

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And of course there is the tea. Among the range on offer Poppy's has its own Winterton tea from the Nelson and Norfolk Tea Company. All the teas it serves are loose leaf and, like free house pubs, the tea room has guest teas. Customers can also buy packs of their favourite teas.

Meanwhile the range of local goods in the shop continues to expand. Crocheted seal pups are a particular favourite of customers, especially during the pupping season, but they can also pick up handmade jewellery, pictures, embroidery and felt work.

WHEN Gino and Jeanne Farace arrived in Winterton in 2016 they almost immediately set about transforming the old post office stores.

In fact customers are doing more than chatting and sipping their teas or coffees. A ukulele group meets there once a month, there is a knit and natter session on Tuesdays and members of a book club use it for their regular discussions.

The conversion was a major undertaking. Jeanne explained: "We just thought it would be nice to have somewhere the community could go to sit down and have a chat and a nice cup of coffee. We work a lot harder, the hours are even longer, but it is rewarding when people say it's nice - you want people to enjoy it."

Cream teas with fruit scones are a firm favourite, but for those who don't have a sweet tooth, there is a popular cheesy alternative. Jeanne's cakes are another draw - bread pudding, lemon drizzle, lemon and blueberry and Victoria sponge are the most popular.

It was a huge change from their previous lives in Enfield and keeping a shop running seven days a week involved a big adjustment. "We really didn't know what we were doing. It's a steep learning curve when you've not done anything like that before," said Jeanne.

Now the couple have gone even further and created a tea room on the ground floor of the building, converting part of the shop into a kitchen area where the aromas of just-out-of-the-oven cakes and scones mingle with freshly-brewed Lavazza coffee.

The tea room, which is dog friendly, is open Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to last orders at 4.30pm and on Sunday's from 8.30am (call to book). Afternoon teas should be pre-ordered the day before. The shop (no dogs) is open every day apart from Christmas Day.

A wide range of newspapers and magazines on sale daily

The village Post Office

Essential groceries and provisions

The next phase of the project is to have an outside seating area, where customers can enjoy a cuppa in the sunshine and sea air.

Enjoy a cuppa alfresco

Icy treats

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