A VILLAGE pub will once again open its doors to customers after being closed for seven months.

The Plough in Longparish called last orders on Christmas Eve 2015 when television chef James Durrant announced that he would close the gastro pub, claiming his formula “doesn’t work”.

However, landlords of an Andover pub have seen its potential and decided to take over the pub.

Allen Watts, Lunar Hare landlord, says he originally went to pick up something from the pub with an area manager and, when he walked through the door, he fell in love with the place.

He said: “I felt exactly the same as I did when we walked into the Lunar Hare for the first time.

“I said to him (the area manager) ‘I’d love to run this place too’ and his reply was ‘OK, done’.

“That was pretty much it.

“Following the success and support we have had at The Lunar Hare it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“And we have taken on a manageress to do the day-to-day stuff at the Lunar which means we are free to go back behind the bar like a landlord and landlady, at both venues.

“We should be on the shop floor at both places more than we are now which is so exciting.

“We are doing a few little refurbishments, and some painting and decorating at The Plough.

“We are turning it back into a beautiful, country, village pub.

“We are planning to install bike parking and even have a section where you can tie up your horses with hay and water.

“We want to make it like the Lunar, a community pub with a function room used by all walks of life, completely free of charge.”

He added: “We have introduced a brilliant new menu at the Lunar Hare which has lots more pub-style dishes on it but still everything is cooked fresh to order.

“It has proved so popular that we are having an almost identical menu at the plough.

“We have four real ales going in, a real hand pulled cider as well as a mixture of cider, lagers and others.

“Essentially it has gone so well at the Lunar that we were inspired to take our way of doing things to another pub.”

Allen says he hopes to open The Plough in Longparish on August 4.