Published: 11:21, 08 October 2020
| Updated: 11:56, 08 October 2020
An award-winning pub has a new husband and wife landlord team at the helm.
The Kings Head in Wye is now being run by Chris and Deb Irwin, who have never taken up the mantle before.
They have a tough act to follow, with popular landlords Mark Lightford and Scott Richardson leaving in August after eight years.
Chris previously ran his own corporate events business, while Deb worked in finance and governance for a charitable organisation, both jobs which they think will help them in their new positions.
Deb, 40, said: “We both wanted a new challenge as I had been working for the same company for almost 10 years, and Chris had been running his business for a similar length of time.
"We also wanted to find something that we could do together, as we loved working on joint projects in the past. We started looking at possible options, and came up with the idea of running a pub.”
The duo have moved from Kidderminster with Deb's 10-year-old son Will, hoping to be closer to Chris' 10-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter who live in Rough Common near Canterbury .
"We approached Shepherd Neame at the start of the year to see if they had any pubs available, and were delighted when they suggested the Kings Head.
"It has a stunning location in the heart of Wye, which is such a beautiful country village, and it also has a great reputation, previously named Kent Life Pub Of The Year and ranked in the top 50 UK Gastropubs.
"With the guest rooms as well, we thought it would be a fantastic opportunity.”
The pub boasts seven en-suite rooms, with guests able to enjoy an extensive menu designed by new head chef Matt McPhail.
Microherbs, vegetables and garnishes have been sourced from the Rebel Farmer based in Brook, alongside fruit from Wye’s Perry Court Farm.
Meat comes from Stour Valley Game in Chilham, who have also created a bespoke wild boar, Stilton and apple sausage exclusive to the pub.
The popular Kings Head Pizza shack has been reopened in the pub’s courtyard, which is now serving food and drink from 4pm to 9pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Deb said: “We are aware that The Kings Head has a special place at the heart of the community in Wye, so we have been reassuring local residents that this is an evolution, not a revolution. We don’t want to change everything!
"But as both Chris and I have children, one of our first goals is to ensure that families feel comfortable visiting us. My son Will has been our chief advisor on the new menu, and even has a burger named after him!"
Chris said: “We have had a truly amazing first couple of months since taking over the pub. The local residents have been incredibly welcoming, and we have a fantastic team.
"These are challenging times so we just want to keep thing simple, creating a safe, welcoming environment where customers enjoy fantastic food and drink, and most importantly, feel able to relax.”
For more information, visit the Kings Head's website .