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The Waggon and Horses, Lymington
ONE half of the management is teatotal and part of the building has recently been turned into a coffee shop selling home-made cakes.
But the Waggon and Horses is a traditional New Forest pub renowned for its warm welcome, home-cooked food and extensive range of real ales.
The riverside inn is run by Alan Scouse and his wife Adare, who are just about to celebrate their first anniversary behind the bar.
They met in Australia, where they were both working, and returned to England in 2008. After running a pub at Bulford, Wiltshire, they took over the Waggon and Horses last October.
Alan said: “It suits us both. I’m close to Portsmouth, where I was born, and Adare is a country girl who likes the Forest.
“She always wanted to run a pub, despite being teatotal. She loves the cooking side of things.”
The building dates back to 1643 and was judged to be looking “tired” earlier this year. The Wadworth brewery spent tens of thousands of pounds on improving the premises inside and out, including a large sundeck in the garden.
The new-look Waggon and Horses was launched by Wadworth chairman Charles Bartholomew.
He said: “It’s a lovely pub in a great location. Alan and Adare have been here for a year now and their warmth and enthusiasm has been infectious.”
Customers include locals and people staying in a nearby block of timeshare apartments.
Wightlink’s cross-Solent terminal is just down the road and other regulars include ferry staff who pop in once they have finished their shift.
The pub’s position means the Waggon and Horses is often used as a halfway house where people living on the mainland love to meet friends and relatives from the Isle of Wight. One man drove down from Derbyshire on Mother’s Day and Christmas “pressie swaps” have taken place in the bar.
The building has a pool table and is also home to the Mole in the Hole folk club, which meets there on the first Monday of each month.
But Alan and Adare are always looking for new ways to attract customers and have recently opened the Frothy Coffee Shop for people seeking non-alcoholic refreshment.
They hope the new facility will become a popular meeting place used by the whole community.
• The Waggon and Horses, Undershore Road, Lymington, SO41 5SB. Telephone: 01590 672517.