The Red Lion, Oakford, Nr Tiverton, SOLD

Village Inn restored to its former glory by new owner with the help of the local community

Local farmer buys closed pub

Such was the support of the local community to keep their village inn that they started a petition to raise funds to purchase the business. Luckily for them, Andy Cooling, a local boar farmer had the same idea and with the full support of the locals and the sale of his farm, he purchased the pub through licensed and leisure property specialists Stonesmith of Exeter.

Andy hankered after The Red Lion for over 10 years but circumstances stopped him buying it until now. Having bought the Inn as a closed business, he set about a total refurbishment program and has invested heavily in the Grade II Listed property, restoring the building back to its former glory, including reinstating many of the original 18th Century features. As well as the usual team of expert builders the village volunteers turned out to help where they could and assisted Andy in the massive restoration project.

Andy is catering to the local and surrounding trade as well as passing business. Food is a big feature and Andy’s new chef once won “Best of West Meat award” using the boar from his farm. Where possible all the ingredients are sourced locally with the meat from farmer friends and fruit and veg from Bampton’s village shop. The new menu will offer wholesome home cooked dishes with chef’s special meals to fit in with the seasonal variations of fresh produce.

The monthly quiz nights restarted and there are plans for themed food evenings like curry and fish & chip nights and local community led events. Small private parties can also hire the dining room for functions of 25/30 people.

The new look country inn offers bar and dining facilities with 40 covers and standing room in the bar. Outside a raised patio can cater for up to 24. In addition the 4 en-suite letting rooms will eventually be increased to 6 quality en-suites, for which there is a demand as the Exmoor national park is just 4 miles away and there are a wealth of leisure and recreational pursuits close by.

A retirement sale, Stonesmith sold The Red Lion off a guide price of £295,000. Stonesmith can be contacted on 01392 201262 or