A HAMPSHIRE pub is hoping to bring in the crowds with more events on its calendar.

Karen and Pepe Solis, landlady and landlord of the Prince Consort pub, in Netley, have organised a number of new events this year, which if successful could become permanent fixtures.

Set in the small village of Netley a stone’s throw from the shoreline, the Prince Consort, which also runs an adjoining bed and breakfast, has many regulars some of which have been coming for more than 40 years.

It relies on them somewhat not being on a major road and at the bottom of the village, though it does get some trade from visitors and dog walkers to the Royal Victoria Country Park which is right on the doorstep.

Karen says the pub regulars are very welcoming to new faces and to thank its regulars for their custom, the pub throws an annual party in June.

Weather is a massive factor in numbers that the pub attract, with sunny weather bringing in the crowds.

But now the couple have plans to provide something new with a live music event next month, with Hampshire performers The Burns Unit, which if popular could then happen every other month.

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Then in June or July the pub is holding its first beer festival.

The bed and breakfast side of the business underwent renovations last year, but the couple are also planning a full exterior renovation to the pub this year with new lighting and decorations.

“This is the year that we’re re-branding, but definitely reaching out to more people,” said Karen.

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The 46-year-old was a chef for 29 years, including working at The Talisman pub in Park Gate, and Pepe, 49, had run restaurants before in Southampton and had worked at the pub for a year before it was up for sale.

The couple, who live at the premises with their 12-year-old son, jumped at the opportunity to run their own pub.

Founded in the 1840s, the Prince Consort has some illustrious royal history.

It is believed that the pub was originally called The Army Navy.

However, it changed its name when Queen Victoria visited Netley with her husband Prince Albert to put in the foundation stone for the hospital being built at what is now the Royal Victoria Country Park and stayed in a grand house opposite the pub.

The pub’s cheapest beer is £3.45 a pint and cheapest wine £3 for a 175ml glass.

  • The Prince Consort, Victoria Road, Netley, SO31 5DQ. Tel: 023 8045 2676