A COUPLE who took an Andover pub from 59th to one of the best-rated in the area on TripAdvisor are leaving after four years at the helm.

Georgie Littler, 27, and Shane Wells, 28, took over the Clatford Arms in Goodworth Clatford in January 2020.

After a renovation, which included a revamped kitchen and extension to the building, and large investment into sports including Sky and BT at nearly £200,000, the pub started to climb the rankings on TripAdvisor. 

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Previously, the pub did not have a good reputation for food, according to Shane, however, after the couple brought in a chef who trained Georgie as head chef in the kitchen, the pub was praised for its meals.

However, as their four-year lease ran out, Georgie and Shane decided to 'see what the adventure brings' and leave the pub.

Shane said: "The pub was a family endeavour for us, my mum was the cleaner, my nan planted flowers in the summer, and Georgie's mum came and supported us when she could.

"It was my uncle's pub, he was very confident that we would do a good job.

"I feel like I have done my family proud. All my family are in Andover so it's nice to have made my own stamp on the pub.”

Georgie and Shane ran the pub with dog mastiff-husky cross Casper on 'security', as well as employees Brian, Nina and Lucy.

A leaving party was held at the pub for the couple on Saturday, December 30, with queues at the bar and cars parked down the road. 

"At our leaving do, we said thank you to everybody for supporting us,” Shane said.

"When we took over I was 24, Georgie was 23, and there were a lot of people that doubted us because of that. Eventually, after four years, we got people crying when we were leaving, and when we left four years later, they have been through all the way."

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Shane continued: "We left at about 11pm on January 11, I'm not an emotional person but I left the pub in tears. Georgie was sobbing down the road.

"When you walk away from something after four years, putting 100 per cent into everything, it's incredibly emotional."

Shane and Georgie would like to thank anyone who visited the pub, whether they were just passing through the village, or a regular.