FAMILY is the key to a pub which has been serving its community for the last 25 years.

The Cleveland Bay sees a whole range of people through its doors – everyone from mothers with prams, to regular drinkers, to those on working lunches.

But the Chandler’s Ford pub has made recent efforts to appeal to families, installing a new children’s play park last summer.

And the family feel does not stop there. Married couple John and Jade Whitfield have been landlord and landlady at the pub since they arrived six years ago.

They live there with son Jenson, 3, and are expecting their second child.

The couple have kept the family theme going in their staff as Jade’s mum also works at the pub.

Moving back to the area to be closer to family, Jade and John previously ran the Red Lion hotel, in Lacock, Wiltshire.

John said the pub, which is owned by Wadworth, has “gone from strength to strength”.

They carried out a refurbishment in 2010, repainting and bringing the ceilings lower to create a more cosy feel.

“We wanted to try and get away from the town pub feel and create more of a family place that everyone from the family could enjoy,” said John.

“We’re on a massive family estate and have the school next door,”

said Jade, who said they have also provided some toys in the pub for children to play with.

“It helps that we have got a child.

“It takes you to have a child to sometimes realise what you need when you go to a pub.”

However, Jade said it was important to maintain a balance to satisfy all the different users of the pub, from families to regular drinkers.

Their efforts have seen the couple named Wadworth’s managers of the year in 2009 and last year they won a bronze in the Perfect Pint awards run by Wadworth, which recognise exceptional expertise in the storage and delivery of beer from cellar to pump.

The pub usually offers food throughout the day, beers start at £3.15 and wine from £2.60.

Jade said the venue offers traditional home cooked food in a nice atmosphere and that there is a real community feel.

It has a pool team, golf society, quiz night, a social club for singles over 45 and Test Valley Borough Council run health walks from the pub on Saturdays.

It also offers occasional live music, including at the pub’s annual beer festival, which is in its third year.

  • The Cleveland Bay, 1 Pilgrims Close, Chandler’s Ford, SO53 4ST.
  • 023 8026 9814.