Meet our team

Meet our team at The Lifeboat Inn

Senior team at The Lifeboat Inn
From left to right. Assistant Manager Keith Barnes, General Manager Ewen Thomson and Head Chef Peter Howard.

General Manager, Ewen Thomson

Ewen took over the helm at The Lifeboat Inn in January 2018, he also runs The Chequers Inn (part of the Agellus Hotels group) and can often be found in between the two inns. Ewen is married to Victoria and has two boys Harry and Charlie age 4 and 7.

Prior to joining The Lifeboat Inn and Agellus Hotels collection, Ewen worked at the Somerleyton Hall, The Hoste and Dunston Hall to name just few. He offers leadership and direction to The Lifeboat’s team.

Why did you choose hospitality?

I stared working in a bar while I was at school in a holiday camp and loved every minute of it so once I finished my A levels I knew that I wanted to stay working in the hospitality industry. I joined the Warner Leisure Hotels as a trainee manager and the rest is history.

What is the best thing about working at The Lifeboat Inn?

Meeting new people all the time and working with such a great team – it’s always a challenge but one that motivates and drives me each day.

What do you like doing when you are not at work?

Spending time with my wife and 2 boys – the boys love the outdoors, walking and getting fresh air are top of the list. Norfolk has a lot of great places to get out and about from the coast to the stately homes with fantastic grounds.


  Keith Barnes at The Lifeboat Inn
Assistant Manager at The Lifeboat Inn Keith Barnes

Assistant Manager, Keith Barnes

Keith lives in Heacham and brings many years of hospitality experience to The Lifeboat Inn. He has been married to Angela for 34 years and they have 29-year-old son Robert.

What’s your role at The Lifeboat Inn?

I work together with Ewen and look after general running of the hotel, especially food and beverage operations. My role involves everything from supporting and looking after all the colleagues here at The Lifeboat Inn to making sure all our guests are having a fantastic experience.

Where were you before you joined The Lifeboat Inn?

Before joining The Lifeboat Inn as Assistant Manager, I worked at Athena Care Homes in Kings Lynn. I was the main link between the General Manager, residents and their families. Prior to that I spent 27 years at SEARLES Leisure Resort in Hunstanton as Operations Manager.

I also have an extensive experience working at various hotels and restaurants in the area, including Dukes Head in Kings Lynn and Le Strange Arms hotel in Hunstanton.

Tell us one interesting fact about you?

I have been a huge Manchester United fan since I was a child. My love did not stop at watching every home game in Old Trafford, for 7 years I travelled with the team and had not missed any European Championship’s away games. Back in 90s I even took a missile, released by one of the opposition fans towards David Beckham’s dad, to my face.

Do you have a favourite place in North Norfolk?

Nothing can beat a day by the seaside! Brancaster beach is the nicest beach in the area, it’s often quieter than many others and you can often stumble upon a seal or two. I have a lot of fond memories building sand castles on Brancaster beach with my family when my son was younger.

Head Chef at The Lifeboat, Peter Howard
Head Chef at The Lifeboat Inn Peter Howard

Head Chef, Peter Howard

Peter is very familiar with The Lifeboat Inn as he worked here back in the early 90s. Since then he has moved around to develop his skills and cooked at The Hoste in Burnham Market and London’s Café de Paris. He also was the Head Chef at the Michelin rated Manley’s in West Sussex and worked at the Mid-Sussex Golf Club and National Trust’s Royal Botanic Garden in Wakehurst.

Who has inspired you?
The famous chef Keith Floyd and his fantastic fish dishes. Also Bill Bryce. I worked alongside him for many years and admired his passion for good, fresh and simple food.

What would you be doing if you were not a chef? 
I would be a diver. I have a huge passion for all things under the sea! I even used to be a professional diver - I was the youngest fully-qualified diver in my group at the age of 14. That’s how I got into cooking as I started working in kitchens to save money to buy diving equipment.

What's your foodie prediction for the coming months?
I think that the rising cost of meat and fish, as well as people being more health conscious, are leading diners towards more vegetarian and vegan diets. Here at The Lifeboat Inn our vegetarian and vegan options have been so well received that we have just introduced a separate vegan menu, it is available alongside our main menu.


Join our team!

If you would like to join the team at The Lifeboat Inn, please email your CV and a bit about yourself to

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