VISIT the Mortimer Arms on the edge of the New Forest and you’re likely to spot a couple of familiar faces behind the bar.

Owners Debbie and Duane Lewis run three other pubs in the district - the New Forest Inn at Emery Down, the Trusty Servant at Minstead and the Royal Oak at Hilltop, near Beaulieu.

And as if that is not enough they have recently opened Del Rio, a Lyndhurst eatery specialising in food from Texas and Mexico.

The couple have spent four years at the Mortimer Arms, a former dowager’s house that has been extended and boasts 14 en-suite bedrooms, function room, bar and restaurant.

Situated just off the M27 motorway, the picturesque pub is next door to the awarding-winning Paultons Park in Romsey Road, Ower.

Many of its early evening customers are families eager for a pub supper after a hectic day out at the popular theme park, home of Peppa Pig World, the Lost Kingdom and a host of other attractions.

But the “Paultons rush” is usually over by 7pm, clearing the way for locals and other customers to reclaim the popular watering hole.

The Mortimer Arms is a family-run country inn that attracts a large number of people from Wellow, Lyndhurst, Romsey and Totton, many of whom are drawn by its reputation for fresh food.

Debbie Lewis’s infectious enthusiasm for the job seems to have rubbed off on the staff.

“Our head chef, Jake Henry, is amazing and takes great pride in what he does. All the staff love their job and make everyone feel welcome.”

The pub hosts a large number of christenings and wedding receptions, plus performances by My Dog Has Fleas - a Romsey-based ukulele group. It is also staging a charity quiz night on September 21 and plans to screen Bollywood films during National Curry Week in October.