Couple rise to Half Moon's attractions

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The Half Moon freehouse in Belchamp St Paul, Essex, has been sold for an undisclosed figure off an asking price of £307,000 for the freehold. Acting...

The Half Moon freehouse in Belchamp St Paul, Essex, has been sold for an undisclosed figure off an asking price of £307,000 for the freehold.

Acting on behalf of Martin Thoday and Shirley Moore, the Ipswich office of Christie & Co completed sale.

The 16th-century inn has been purchased by Mike and Maureen Leach, who previously owned the Dunmow Inn on the High Street of Great Dunmow.

The tranquil village of Belchamp St Paul, with its picturesque thatched cottages, was voted winner of the Essex Best Kept Village Award 2003.

Located in the Stour Valley and surrounded by open countryside, the village is on the route of several rural walks.

Bill Colquhoun, of the Ipswich office of Christie's, said: "Martin and Shirley are retiring from the licensed trade. They purchased the Half Moon in August 2001 and after a few months of trading closed the business in order to carry out a substantial refurbishment. The business reopened in April 2003.

"The present division of trade is about 50% bar to 50% catering, with both elements of the trade continuing to grow, despite remaining closed all day on Mondays and on Sunday evenings."

The Half Moon is a pretty, thatched inn with a timber-beamed bar. There is a lounge bar to seat 30, an area for pub games, a 20-cover restaurant, three-bedroom owner's accommodation, a beer garden, a private garden and a car park.

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