Can a good pub sell a country house? 

English pub

A good pub within walking distance is on most buyers’ wish lists and can even uphold an area’s value. But what makes the perfect village pub? Arabella Youens investigates.

If the idea that a village pub can sell a country house sounds a bit extreme, here’s a story to prove it. When the parents of James Mackenzie, head of the country-house department at Strutt & Parker, were in Oman and reading a copy of Country Life, they spotted an old rectory near Lyme Regis in Dorset for sale.

As soon as they could, they jumped on a plane and booked a viewing,’ says Mr Mackenzie. ‘When they reached the top of the drive, my father jumped up onto the gate to inspect the exterior and its aspect. Then, without venturing any further, he took the agent for lunch in the pub opposite. Once that had passed the test, they bought the house – barely bothering to look inside.’

The Bell Pub

The Bell at Stow is one such pub – gorgeously cosy with beautiful food.

That a pub acts as a binding force within a community was ever thus, but, today, this role is on the rise, believes Harry Gladwin of The Buying Solution, Knight Frank’s buying arm, who says a good village pub comes within the top three requirements of a country-house buyer. ‘It’s a place where everyone meets, regardless of background. This mix of people and ideas around an open fire is what breathes life back into many villages and – unlike village shops – can never be replaced by Amazon.’

In recent months, Mr Gladwin has handled two transactions where a good pub was at the top of the list of must-haves; as neither client enjoyed cooking, the pub would be an extension of their kitchen, to feed the family and house guests.


The Ebrington Arms.

‘Even in less extreme scenarios,’ he adds, ‘it’s great entertainment for guests at weekends, especially if they can combine a good walk with a pub lunch or have a late dinner there after driving down from London.’ The best landlords, adds his colleague Jonathan Bramwell, ‘will keep their kitchens open a bit late to accommodate this type of clientele. Now that you can no longer make a profit on selling pints alone, it’s the food that helps in no small way to keep these pubs alive’.

‘We will never do pea shoots or foams’

Village pubs that are successful tread a fine line between catering for the weekend crowd and looking after locals. Peter Creed runs The Bell Inn at Langford in west Oxfordshire, having taken over the pub, which was then derelict, with his business partner, chef Tom Noest, two years ago. It’s taken off and they now have an outlet in Soho Farmhouse (The Little Bell) and are in the process of negotiating on another pub nearby.

‘A pub needs to act as a hub for the village,’ says Mr Creed. ‘It has to be somewhere that everyone can afford to go.’ To that end, they ensure the menu accommodates local families, as well as those wanting to celebrate an important anniversary. ‘We will never do pea shoots or foams.’


Dogs friendly is a must – luckily, the Ebrington Arms welcomes all types of patrons!

Although it may not come as a surprise that the British public hankers after a regular pint to wash down wholesome grub, Charlie Wells of Prime Purchase, Savills’ buying agents, believes the pub factor is increasingly playing a role for international buyers, too. ‘Foreign buyers love a good old-fashioned English pub with horse brasses, which doesn’t really exist in Scandinavia or America,’ he explains. In addition, they attract buyers with families; as children become teenagers, the pub becomes particularly useful if they can walk there and meet friends, rather than using parents as a taxi service.

The Fife Arms, Braemar – The Flying Stag adds a unique decorative touch.

‘A good pub makes a good village and vice versa,’ concludes Mr Gladwin. With that in mind, if the current pub isn’t hitting the mark, it might be a good plan to take it over. That may sound like a storyline from The Archers, but these days, communities are beginning to take matters into their own hands and village-owned, village-run pubs are reversing some of the decline in pub closures.

In (albeit rare) cases, incoming buyers of large country houses are also buying the pub to turn it around – a move made by a number of Mr Wells’s clients. This can work to benefit everyone, argues Adam Buxton of Middleton Advisors. ‘It might underpin the popularity of the village and ultimately help hold up values.’

Source: Can a good pub sell a country house? – Country Life

Welcome to the wonkiest pub in Britain 

Welcome to the wonkiest pub in Britain

What would you expect from a pub called the Crooked House?

Himley is a small village situated between Dudley and Wolverhampton. It is mostly unremarkable, and is perhaps best known as being the home of Himley Hall, the former home of the Lords of Dudley.

Himley has another claim to fame though, in that it is home to the wonkiest pub in Britain: the Crooked House.

Originally a farmhouse, this building became a pub in the 1800s, by which point it had already begun sinking to one side due to mining in the area.

It remains a pub, despite being condemned as unsafe roughly 80 years ago. With all this knowledge in mind, JOE decided to take a trip to this pub, to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be and whether the rumours of gravitational anomalies are actually true.

Source: Welcome to the wonkiest pub in Britain |

How did historic alehouses, taverns and inns evolve into the pubs we see today?

The Skirrid Inn

Getting together over a drink – or some other psychoactive substance – has played an important part in the social evolution of human beings for millennia

Bristol is gaining recognition for its influential music and street art. But Monocle’s Rory Gooderick thinks that the city’s best-kept secret is its flourishing food scene. He tells us why. { . . . ]

Continue at: How did historic alehouses, taverns and inns evolve into the pubs we see today?

Britain’s pubs say cheers to their revival

Latest British government statistics on public houses indicate that the decline in their numbers has been halted and that pub culture may actually be coming back into fashion.

The church, the cricket lawn and the pub. For centuries, that “holy trinity” was the essence of life in a typical English village.Church congregations have long ago melted away, and there were fears that the pubs, those drinking establishments with quaint names, rickety furniture and lukewarm beer, would also disappear. Thousands of such “public houses” went out of business over the past two decades alone.

But Britain’s pubs are fighting back, and are proving surprisingly resilient. Latest government statistics indicate that the decline in their numbers has been halted and that pub culture may actually be coming back into fashion [ . . . ]

Continue at: Britain’s pubs say cheers to their revival, Europe News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Britain’s pubs are still closing, but at a much slower rate than before – here’s why

Twenty five per cent of the UK’s pubs have closed since 2001. But the picture is finally improving, because of the hot World Cup summer – and some local people power.

Twenty five per cent of the UK’s pubs have closed since 2001. Between January and June 2017, more than 20 pubs shut every week – 525 in total. If this startling trajectory had continued, Britain would have eventually been left with nothing more than a handful of Wetherspoons and a Hungry Horse. Once buzzing neighbourhood establishments with their shiny green tiles would have finally been completely replaced by unaffordable flats and branches of Tesco Express. The latest figures reveal 14 pubs closed their doors each week between July and December 2018, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Despite the slightly more positive picture, the consumer champion has renewed its call to tankards and is again promoting its Save Our Pubs campaign. It said the Government needs to “urgently halt the tide”. National chairman Jackie Parker said: “Pubs are a very important part of our national culture and are valuable community assets which help to combat loneliness and social isolation.”

The number of small pubs has halved in under 20 years

This romanticism isn’t far-fetched: pubs have long been a vital resource for British people. Sitting by a fire, a slot machine and a snoozing dog with a pork pie and a pint of Doom Bar isn’t fantasy. It’s a real thing that happens Fortunately, there have been positive signs in the past two years. While small pubs remain under threat – since their peak, at 40,840 in 2002, their number has halved to 22,840 last year – their relative demise has slowed. CAMRA said there are things to be hopeful about: tighter planning regulations, community action groups, and increasingly diverse boozers have all buoyed trade. “It’s great we have seen a drop in the number of pubs closing, showing that our hard-fought campaign to get planning protection for pubs was worth it,” said Ms Parker [ . . . ]

Pub closures

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