Couple who run award winning Hastings Old Town pub are set to leave this year

The popular landlady and landlord of the Stag Inn in All Saints Street have announced they will be leaving in October this year.

The 16th century inn, which is owned by Kent brewers Shepherd Neame, has been run by by licensee Nicole Holt and her husband Nick. It is well known for its popular music nights and its participation in local events such as Jack in the Green.

Nicole said: “Nick and I have decided to call time on running The Stag at the end of October. It’s been a horrible decision to have to make but it’s proving too hard both physically and financially to continue.“It’s been our whole life for the past seven years - starting with no knowledge of how to run a pub to feeling like we finally know what we are doing. We’ve made such good friends and had such amazing support - from customers, from some extraordinary staff and from the legend that is our chef Ben Cumberpatch, who, like us, is preparing for his next adventure.“If you’ve enjoyed coming to The Stag, please, please come along for the next six months - we still have loads of fun things planned and would welcome your support on our final stretch.”

The Stag was named as a winner in last year’s National Pub and Bar Awards. The pub also retained its AA Rosette after being awarded it in 2022.

Since taking the pub on, the pair and their team have thrown themselves into Hastings life, hosting traditional folk evenings and entertainments like shanty evenings and a January Wassail, then adding in comedy nights and live music from both local talent and visiting artists, as well as maintaining the popular Monday Quiz Night.

The Stag’s Head Chef Ben Cumberpatch uses locally sourced ingredients compiled with extraordinary attention to detail for his range of delicious dishes, which earned the pub a place in the Good Food Guide.

Speaking about how they came to the Stag Inn, Nicole said: “Neither of us had worked in hospitality in any capacity before – I was a producer making TV ads and Nick spent thirty-odd years in the book trade before we took on the pub. Nick and I were both in our fifties, looking for a new direction. When we saw that the Stag was available we thought it was an amazing opportunity and decided to go for it. We are very proud of everything that we have achieved since taking on the pub.”

The historic pub has a large three-tiered sun trap garden and a dining room.

Related topics: