The new owners of the Barford Inn chose the pub because of its history and the community around it, and they aim to be a big part of it.
On a community initiative, they held a village Christmas lunch on December 23 for 70 people, who afterwards gathered in the church.
Local resident Roly, who has lived in the village for more than 40 years, said the new owners have “breathed new life” into the pub.
“I have not enjoyed such a happy and real traditional pub Christmas and new year for many, many years,” he said.
Olivia and Philip Stapley lived a hectic life in Romania and travelled week in, week out, working in marketing and IT.
They felt the situation they were in was unsustainable and decided it was time to settle into a more stable life for themselves their eight-year-old daughter.
After they scoured the country for the perfect venue, and considered as many as 80 pubs, the Barford Inn at Barford St Martin caught their attention, not just the pub itself, but also the surroundings.
The Nadder Valley features spectacular walks, cycling routes and fishing spots.
“The pub has a fantastic history, as do the village and the community,” Philip said.
The pub has a capacity of 75 sitting and has hosted a blessing, a christening and a wake.
Olivia and Philip have recognised the importance of the local’s participation, wants to contribute to village life and plan to revitalise traditional events.
“Every local has a story from the pub,” Olivia said.
“That’s the beauty of the place, that’s why we want to keep it like it is.”
They said the pub is the focal point of the village, and the community has involved itself and given their opinions, which Olivia and Philip have listened to.
“We have finalised the menu based on customer feedback and took notes from regulars,” Olivia said and added that they are happy to say they have a great team to move things forward.
“The live music sessions will be back at the Barford Inn starting February, with a special debut on Valentines Day, when love dishes will go well with the saxophone tunes.”
In addition to dining, the Barford Inn features a bar, pool table, beer garden and guests can stay in one of the four en-suite bedrooms.