This charming and cosy Grade II listed inn sits directly on the bustling high street in the quaint old East Northants market town of Higham Ferrers close to the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire borders. Higham Ferrers is a lovely floral town with 4 schools, local shops, amenities and facilities and holds a highly popular farmers market every month. The town is still expanding and further housing developments are still being built in the area. Nearby points of interest include the popular Rushden and Stanwick lakes, Irchester country park and Rockingham Forest. Kettering, Northampton and Bedford are also within easy reach. The local road networks are excellent with the nearby A14, A6 and A1 complimented by many other ‘A’ roads providing access around this simply stunning county.
This 2-storey 17th century inn is of limestone construction and sits under a pitched slate roof. A delightful welcoming quarry tiled entrance porch to the front and an entrance to the rear of the property provide access to all the trading areas. These are simply bursting with character and rustic charm and consist of:
Bar (circa 25+ plus standing) has loose tables, leather perimeter settees, tub chairs and pouffes all sitting on a fully carpeted floor. Exposed wooden beams to the ceiling and walls add to the character and there is a bar server of wood construction with 2 cask ales on offer. The room also has a wall mounted HDTV, AWP and local historic photos adorning the walls.
Lounge/Lair (circa 26+ plus standing) is a lovely area with loose tables, leather settees and armchairs, tub chairs and stools all sitting on a fully carpeted floor. Exposed wooden beams to the ceiling are complimented by hanging chandeliers and look down on areas of exposed stone, wood panelled walls and a highly attractive stone-built Inglenook fireplace with built in coal effect gas fire. There is also a further bar server of wood construction with 3 cask ales on offer. Leads to:
Restaurant (circa 50+ covers) is a spacious room to the rear of the property with loose tables and assorted leather and upholstered dining chairs complimented by a carpet and flagstone slab floor. The room can also be used for private hire and is able to be laid out as desired and to suit the occasion. Areas of exposed stone and brick and hanging chandeliers add to the character and charm and there is a stone-built bar server to one end. There is also a lovely open through fire with built in coal effect gas fire and even a flambé table sat waiting to entertain. To the side is an extended conservatory area with double doors that lead out onto the rear al fresco patio area. Ladies and Gents W.C.’s.
Fully equipped Commercial Catering Kitchen with stainless steel appliances and preparation surfaces (appliances not tested) prep area, wash up and 5* EHO rating. There is also a walk-in chiller and areas for storage.
Ground floor Cellar with python, pumps and remote etc leads off from behind the bar.
The owner’s accommodation is located on the 1st floor and briefly comprises of: 3 bedrooms (2 double and 1 single), lounge and bathroom.
To the rear of the property is a delightful spacious slabbed al fresco patio area with loose garden furniture (c54+) with tables and chairs, parasols, heaters, lights and colourful planters. To one side is a heated smoking solution and the patrons lined car park has spaces for c20+ cars.
We are advised that the business trades with the benefit of the Premises Licence (not seen) which permits the sale of alcohol during the hours of:
Mon - Sat 10.30pm to midnight
Sun 12noon to 11.30pm
Current opening hours are only:
Mon – Thurs 11.30am/3pm, 5.30pm/11pm
Fri – Sat 11.30am to 11.30pm
Sun 12noon to 10.30pm
NB. Important. Prospective purchasers wishing to continue to operate the public house should ensure that they gain the APLH Qualification in readiness for their intended operation of the Public House.
The business is offered for sale as a lease assignment with approximately 6½ years remaining of the Wellington Pub Co/Criterion full repairing and insuring, renewable agreement. We are advised that the inn is totally ‘Free of Tie’ on all products. We are informed that the attractive single percentage figure rent is currently £48,039 per annum (c9% of current net turnover) to be reviewed in 2020. We are advised that at the end of the term, the Lease (not seen by Guy Simmonds) should be renewable with no further premium – subject to the provision of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. We are advised that the inn benefits from all mains services (no services seen or tested). Business rates payable are advised as currently being £9,247.17 per annum.
The current owner took over the business in 1991 and over the past 27+ years has established a solid trading foundation offering quality home cooked & locally sourced food and drinks to a loyal, passing, repeat and desirable clientele. The business not only plays host to the food and drink offer but also provides a popular ‘private hire option within the restaurant and conservatory area when available/required. The business is currently operated by our vendor client assisted by 4 full time and c8-part time/casual members of staff. Our vendor is now looking to sell the business on in order to be able to take life at a more leisurely pace. We are advised that accounts declare takings of circa £617,767 inclusive of VAT for year ending 30th November 2018 achieved on a trade split of 62% Wet sales, 35% Food sales and 3% other. We calculate reconstituted net profits after adding back personal and one-off costs to be in excess of c£40,000 per annum. New owners could continue to operate the business using the same successful formula or may wish to take this business to the next level. In our opinion this could be achieved by further marketing the private hire option of the restaurant and conservatory, the introduction of their own food offer or even the introduction of a regular quiz or a little light entertainment.
Accounting information will be made available to interested parties after viewing.
This business was viewed by Richard Fletcher who would be delighted to discuss further details and can be contacted on 07527 718400.
Viewing appointments must be made by contacting Guy Simmonds on 01332-865112.
Details Prepared: August 2019