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Red Lion, Dittisham, Devon Agent: Bettesworths French-born Brigitte and Clive Bellenger have taken over the Red Lion Inn in Dittisham, Devon. The...

Red Lion, Dittisham, Devon

Agent: Bettesworths

French-born Brigitte and Clive Bellenger have taken over the Red Lion Inn in Dittisham, Devon.

The couple have run the post office next door for 10 years. They missed out on securing the pub on a number of

occasions and admit it was a dream come true to finally get hold of the property. "We know the business, the customers and the potential, so we decided not to waste any time on this occasion," said Brigitte. "We are already thinking of linking the two businesses together by constructing an archway from the post office into the pub itself."

The couple would no doubt win applause from Prince Charles who often visited the Red Lion during his time at the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and who, in a stirring speech to the nation some years later, highlighted the importance of retaining community services such as the village post office and pub.

The couple are determined to make the Red Lion the focal hub of the community. The pub is protected for the next 18 years under a covenant set up in 2001 by the then vendors who, as a condition of the sale, insisted it should remain as an inn for the next quarter of a century.

The Red Lion has an excellent website and Brigitte and Clive intend to develop the B&B business to make full use

of the seven letting rooms, as well as expanding the

catering with a bistro-style setting and menu. The pub, which is a member of the South Hams Food and Drink Association, will continue to serve a wide selection of cask-conditioned ales, many of which are brewed in Devon and the south-west.

The pub had been run by Phillip and Keirsten Andersen,

who have bought the Blackbird Inn between Taunton and

Wellington, Somerset.

Both sales were negotiated by Bettesworths. The Red Lion was sold off an asking price of £695,000.

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