Bob Lowrie has hardly been able to take things easy since taking over The Thatched Cottage resturant and pub in 2005.
The 71-year-old has created a nature reserve and planted thousands of English hardwood trees, turned part of that into a natural burial site and opened a farm shop on site.
However, the biggest transformation is in the business itself.
Bob says: “When we came here I would say the restaurant was doing probably £3,000 a week, no more, and despite the recession we average about £9,000 a week, including the farm shop.”
He and his wife Marion have re-carpeted, put a large extension on the kitchen, and bought a neighbouring field to create the reserve and natural burial ground. A garden room has extended the restaurant to 64 seats.
With the two donkeys and pet Jacob sheep, they have turned the restaurant into what Bob calls, “a multi-faceted destination venue” with Jason Dust, a qualified chef, acting as general manager. He said: “We get a lot of people from the village in here and we have what’s called a 10 o’clock club, local farmers, business people and retired people who like to come out for a drink at 10 o’ clock at night.”