Ellie met Paul, a carpenter, and they settled
down and had children. Paul worked long hours in London. “I seemed to be
working all the time, earning good money - but I never saw my wife and kids,”
he says. Their work/life balance wasn’t working, he says. Instead, they decided
to start a new life in Spain.
Ellie sold houses and holiday properties and
Paul started his own construction company. For a couple of years, life was
sweet. “I used to finish work at 2pm and we’d all be on the beach by 3pm,” says
Paul. “We did that every day.”
But then the recession arrived. Building work
dried up. No-one wanted to buy houses - and mortgage rates went up. Ellie and
Paul decided, reluctantly, to return home.
A friend in the pub game said they should try
running their own hostelry. They were unsure. But they had no home, no other
real prospects. There didn’t seem to be much choice. Within a month, they were
running a new pub in Doncaster.
What they lacked in pub experience, they made up
for with enthusiasm, hard work and old-fashioned common sense.
“I thought to myself: ‘Well, what do I like in a
pub?’ and I set about making my pub like a pub I’d want to drink or eat in,”