An award-winning local pub is up for sale as the owners move on to pastures new.
The Horns Lodge Inn, at South Chailey, is on the market with a
price tag of £495,000 for the freehold, to include contents.
It has been crowned Country Pub of the Year in both 2011 and 2012 by the Brighton and South Downs branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
Landlord Mike Lethem and his wife Linda have been at the popular hostelry for four-and-a-half years.
He is a lecturer at the University of Brighton while she has a background in publishing.
Mike said: “We have been pleased with the way the pub has developed and the success it has achieved. We have both enjoyed our time here but have both got alternative career opportunities and feel it is the right time to move on.”
A feature of the couple’s time at the pub has been the summer Beer Festival, which raises money for charity.
The free house features three bar/dining areas, two letting bedrooms – one with en-suite bathroom, the other with en-suite shower – and two-bedroom accommodation. There is a car park and an attractive beer garden.
The main bar area is horseshoe-shaped, with an open fire, bar billiards, traditional wooden tables and chairs and parquet flooring. The main restaurant has a beamed ceiling and brick floor.
The Horns Lodge stands beside the A275 and is believed to date back some three centuries.
The sale is being handled by Hove-based leisure property specialists Fleurets and viewing is strictly by appointment by calling 01273 429500.
The Brighton and South Downs CAMRA branch covers an area from Shoreham in the west, Uckfield to the east, Haywards Heath to the north and Seaford to the south.
The Pub of the Year is chosen using six criteria. Obviously the emphasis is on the quality of the real ale but also covers the atmosphere/style and decor of the pub; the service and welcome given; clientele mix; sympathy with CAMRA aims and good value.
The Horns Lodge is very much a traditional rural English pub, which has been in this location for almost 300 years. The first records of The Horns Lodge date from 1713 which record it as an ale house adjoining two cottages. However it is thought to be about 50 years older than this date.
The buildings were all served by a water well – which is still present in the garden. There were stables and out buildings, which encircled an old orchard.
At one time the pub obtained its ales from the local Cooksbridge Brewery of George Norman and Co. However the brewery was destroyed in a fire in 1912.