Ringstead’s The Gin Trap Inn is set to be preserved as a traditional village pub after a villager stepped in to give it a new lease of life.
Annelli Taylor received the keys to the pub – which closed in January – only four weeks ago, put a complete refurbishment project in place during the next two weeks and re-opened the doors on Good Friday.
She said: “I live in Ringstead and was aware that property developers were interested, so I decided to buy it myself. I used to own Thornham Deli, which I sold last July.
“On Good Friday, we opened the doors, just for villagers, and the next day we opened to the general public. It was quite apparent that the village had become somewhat fractured without having had a pub. People had not been seeing each other so much out and about. The opening was fabulously supported and people were really appreciative and happy that it was a proper village pub.
“In the first week of opening, we have had some villagers who have come in to eat three or four times.”
On the first open Saturday, music teachers were invited along to play and Annelli said it was a successful evening with a warm atmosphere.
“It’s a very cosy pub – we have log burners and it is lit by candlelight, so there is also a warm ambience.
“All the food we provide is home-made on site and there are plenty of choices, including vegetarian options. On Sundays we serve roast dinners from 12 noon.”
As part of the refurbishment, three rooms, complete with large en-suites, have been given a luxury makeover.
Said Annelli: “They really are sumptuous, with the best quality materials, mattresses and duvets used.
“I am working on cottage rooms too, where people will be able to bring their dogs to stay with them.
“In the future I intend to continue development with a further seven more suites at the rear of the premises.”
She is also looking at holding regular French markets featuring food, antiques and collectibles.