British Country Inns buys two more food-led pubs

25 January 2008 by
British Country Inns buys two more food-led pubs

The buys mean the Enterprise Investment Scheme has snapped up 20 pubs since it was set up in April 2006 by former directors of English Country Inns (now part of Marston's).

BCI paid close to the £1.195m asking price for the freehold on the Inn on the Wye in Kerne Bridge, Herefordshire.

As its name suggests, the former 18th-century coaching house occupies elevated, three-acre grounds above the banks of the River Wye in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It has the Forest of Dean as a backdrop and panoramic views towards Goodridge Castle.

Facilities at the inn - which is popular for weddings and functions and holds a civil wedding licence - include 10 en-suite bedrooms, a lounge-bar, a 46-seat dining area, a 32-seat restaurant, a 14-seat conservatory alongside the riverside terrace garden, and the 120-capacity Goodrich Suite function room.

There is also an owners' cottage, and a five-bedroom apartment

The second purchase is the Old Barn Owl Inn (pictured below), a freehouse and dining destination in the Somerset village of Westport that generates 70% of its sales from food.

Old Barn Owl
Old Barn Owl
The mid 19th-century property was originally a cider house called the Duke of Clarence that served hauliers from Ilminster and bargees working on Langport-to-Westport canal.

Selling off a guide price of £550,000 for the freehold, the inn offers a 40-seat public bar, a 50-seat restaurant, a 10-seat snug lounge, a 14-seat games room, a function room that can seat 80 guests, a skittle alley, and five-bedroom owners' accommodation.

Both properties were acquired through the Bristol office of Christie + Co, which was acting, respectively, on behalf of James and Elin Nevin and chef son Nick (the Inn on the Wye) and Diana Felton (the Old Barn Owl Inn).

By Angela Frewin

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