The Crown Inn at Church Enstone, near Chipping Norton, has new owners following a sale brokered by real estate services company Colliers International.
 
The 17th Century inn, which was voted Best Restaurant in The Cotswolds in 2010 and 2011, has been bought by pub regulars George and Victoria Irvine, off a guide price of over £600,000 for the freehold.
 
George, an artist who runs George Irvine Fine Art, said: “Victoria and I live nearby and have been going to The Crown Inn for a long time. When we were told that it was being sold, Victoria and I looked at each other and we had a bit of a laugh at first about the idea however it soon became serious."
 
“The Crown is a lovely pub that is full of character, and we are both interested in food and wine.
 
“We want to preserve the existing character of The Crown and want to serve high quality locally-sourced pub food. We plan to showcase work from local artists and to feature interesting objects that work as conversation pieces.”
 
George added that one of those objects would be some icing off the wedding cake of the rock star Sting who married the actress Trudie Styler in 1992.
 
“As an art student I used to work in catering. I was a waiter at Sting’s wedding and saved a piece of the wedding cake from the bin in a jam jar,” he said.
 
“I’m planning to display it at The Crown. Who knows, Sting might even pay a visit to The Crown Inn!
 
“We’re also planning to display objects that celebrate the locality, such as nearby RAF Enstone, which was a bomber command operational training unit for Wellington bombers during the Second World War. It would be nice to display some old photos of the men and women.”
 
The Crown Inn features around 60 covers in the bar, dining room & conservatory.  Four double en-suite rooms will be available from next spring offering dinner, bed and breakfast.
 
Blenheim Palace is around six miles away, and the popular centres of Witney, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh and Stratford-upon-Avon are all within easy driving distance, and Soho Farmhouse is around a mile away.
 
Peter Brunt, a director in Colliers International’s hotels team said The Crown offered traditional charm in an idyllic Cotswolds setting, together with opportunities for business expansion.
 
“The Crown is a perfect Cotswolds pub, with a log fire in the inglenook and beamed ceilings, a cosy garden as well as a terrace which looks out onto the village and its honey-coloured stone cottages.

“It is already operating on a sound business basis, but there is potential to develop the business further and George and Victoria already have numerous ideas, plus the enthusiasm and energy to realise them.”
 
He added: “The sale of The Crown Inn is the latest of several similar sales that I‘ve undertaken, and demonstrates the ability of Colliers to achieve success in the sector for our vendor clients.
 
“A number have sold in competition, underlining the fact that there are keen buyers waiting for similar pubs if any owners are considering a sale.”