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Chris and Hazel Mitchell take over running of Red Lion pub in Milstead

A dad-of-two has called time on his career as a salesman to try his hand at running a pub with his wife.

Chris and Hazel Mitchell were handed the keys to the Red Lion in Rawling Street, Milstead, at the end of last year.

The couple bought it for £575,000 from Patrick and Josephine Coevoet who had run the pub, which had been listed in the Michelin Guide, for 13 years.

Husband and wife team Chris and Hazel Mitchell have taken over the Red Lion pub in Milstead
Husband and wife team Chris and Hazel Mitchell have taken over the Red Lion pub in Milstead

Landlady Mrs Mitchell, 54, who has carried on her day job as a nurse based at Medway Maritime Hospital, said: “We took over the pub on December 19 and we spent Christmas here. It was very cosy by the fire.

“It just seemed an opportunity for us to have a change in our life.

“It’s a lovely place to live, we thought we’d give it a go.

“We don’t have any experience in this sort of thing.

“This is completely new to us and a complete change in direction which is a good thing.”

The pair used to live in Northwood Drive, Sittingbourne, after meeting in the 1980s.

Mrs Mitchell added: “Chris was always the driving force with buying the pub, I was just helping him make it happen.

“We’ve been down on a couple of occasions when we were younger.

The couple bought the pub for £575,000
The couple bought the pub for £575,000

“It was literally last summer that he saw it was up for sale and we thought it was a good idea and we thought we’d give it a go.

“We always wanted to live out of town with the woods behind us and it looks lovely in the summer.

“We walked through here with the dog and made our minds up.”

The couple are looking forward to putting their own spin on the venue, with Chris quitting his salesman job to take on the pub full time.

Mrs Mitchell added: “We want to try and get it as a pub that does nice food and that people are quite happy to visit for lunch or dinner.

“We don’t have the skills of the previous owners but we should be able to provide decent pub grub.”

While the pair, who have two daughters - 23-year-old Rebecca and 21-year-old Melissa - are still putting the finishing touches to the menu, they have been serving drinks.

The Red Lion is open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 11.30pm Wednesdays to Saturdays and from noon until 3pm on Sundays. For more visit www.theredlionmilstead.co.uk

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