In that first week, Sam and Mike wrote a letter to everyone in the village: introducing themselves, their children and outlining their plans for the pub. They invited everyone to a big opening party.
“And they came - they all came,” says Sam. “It was a lovely night and people gave us their best wishes - and countless jars of home-made marmalade, too, ha, ha.”
Slowly, the pub started to change. It was tastefully refurbished so the simple splendour of the exterior was matched inside.
“It’s taken us three years,” says Mike, “but I think we’ve done it. We’re happy with how it looks.”
A new menu was introduced. A wood burner was fitted. The bar was revamped. Word started to spread that The Stag was a nicer pub and the food was good. Trade increased very quickly, says Mike.
“I think we saw takings double in the first three or four weeks,” he says.