Covid update

We hope to re-open on 17th May, in line with the government guidance and restrictions. Currently, from May 17th to June 21st we can accept:

  • Reservations of 6 guests from multiple households, including children.
  • Reservations of any size from two households.

From June 21st we hope to return to normal but will follow guidance at that time including the use of masks, sanitising and distancing if required.

All reservations must be made by calling 01353 662582, bookings cannot be taken by email.

If anyone in your group has Covid symptoms, please stay at home and cancel your booking by phone. Opening times are subject to change.


The Gallery

Our exhibitions are online throughout the year now and we hope to allow visitors into the Gallery on the first floor from May 17th. For further details please click here.

Local recipes, local produce...

  • The Old Fire Engine House - Restaurant & Gallery (since 1968)
  • The Old Fire Engine House - Restaurant & Gallery (since 1968)
  • The Old Fire Engine House - Restaurant & Gallery (since 1968)
  • The Old Fire Engine House - Restaurant & Gallery (since 1968)

The Old Fire Engine House is a restaurant and art gallery situated just west of the cathedral in an attractive Georgian house with a large walled garden stocked with many old English fruit trees, herbs and flowers.

It was built in the mid 18th Century on the site of a farmhouse which was the home of Dean Tyndell's widow in 1616. Ely's horse-drawn fire engine was kept there at the turn of the century, which can now be seen in a photograph above the fire in the bar.

Ann Jarman continues to run the restaurant having set it up in 1968 with two friends. She worked closely with her husband, Michael Jarman, until he sadly passed away in March 2021. Their aim was to use local, seasonal ingredients and recipes; a concept which is commonplace now, but was relatively unusual fifty years ago.

The restaurant has maintained the feeling of a family home rather than that of a commercial business which is reflected in its work ethos. Four generations of the Fyson family have worked there as cooks; Olive Fyson started with us in 1968 and worked in the kitchen for 30 years. Her daughters Terri, Christine and Jayne all still work with us as does her granddaughter Claire and both Jarman daughters also worked at the Old Fire Engine House until recently.

Opening Times
Monday: Closed
Morning coffee: 10.30-11.30am Tuesday-Saturday
Lunch: 12.15-2pm Tuesday - Sunday
Afternoon Tea: 3.45-5.15pm Tuesday - Sunday
Dinner: 6.30-8.30pm Tuesday - Saturday
Closed Mondays, Sunday evenings, public holidays and from December 24th for 2 weeks.
For all reservations please call 01353 662582. We do not take reservations by email.
Gift Vouchers
Vouchers can be purchased with cash or debit card.
Please call 01353 662582 for further details.