The Rose and Crown at Lea is our perfect pub
A Welshman and his South African wife have been warmly welcomed into the Wiltshire countryside after taking over a very English pub.
Wayne and Katherine Jones moved to the area from Wales late last year to search for their “perfect pub” and stumbled upon the Rose and Crown in Lea.
Mrs Jones said: “We were delighted to find The Rose and Crown, which ticks all the boxes.
“It’s in a pretty village, it’s got a skittle alley, function room, garden and car parking – lots of opportunities for people to use us, and with so strong a welcome from the local community we’re off to a flying start.
“We’ve got some weddings, birthdays and even business meetings booked in our function room for the year.”
The pub is the couple’s first venture, but Mrs Jones says they are settling in well.
“This is all very new for me,” she said. “I have a secretarial background and Wayne has a catering background from the Army years ago. He was then in engineering for 20 years, but has always wanted to go back to it.
“He came home one day and said, ‘we’re not buying a house, we’re getting a pub’.
“It’s been really hard work but worth it. We feel like we’ve come home.
“We closed for a week. We had to shut down for a total redecoration – lots of painting, new carpets – because it wasn’t in the best of states.
“We’ve had lots of compliments on the food and decor.
“We want to be here for the long haul – it’s our home and we want it to work.”
Mr Jones has a few royal credentials up his sleeve to impress his customers – he has cooked for the Queen and for the Prince of Wales.
He said: “I was a chef in the Army and had the honour of cooking for Her Majesty. Then, when I came out of the Army, I was a chef at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology and prepared a meal when Prince Charles came to visit. He doesn’t live so far away from here, so perhaps we’ll see him in the Rose and Crown.”