Couple bring almost 40 years’ experience to pub

MIKE and Gill Brickell have left the sunshine of Spain behind to surround themselves with the very English beauty of the Queen of the Cotswolds.

The couple have taken over Painswick’s Royal Oak pub after returning to the UK from Almeria.

  1. Mike and Gill Brickell  are the new landlord and landlady at the Royal Oak in Painswick.

    Mike and Gill Brickell are the new landlord and landlady at the Royal Oak in Painswick.

With decades of experience in the licensed trade they say life in the village has been “absolutely excellent”.

The pub had been shut for six months before new tenants Mike, 58, and Gill, 61, reopened it.

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And they were immediately rewarded when the customers came back in droves.

Mike said: “They gave us a very warm welcome. We would like to thank them for that.”

Inside the Oak has been repainted and its freshen up is continuing.

Mike added: “We want to make it more authentic. We believe the Royal Oak may be 15th Century at its heart.”

Pints are being pulled and traditional pub food, “nothing fancy”, is being served.

“Since we married in 1975 we have been in the pub trade in Somerset, Spain, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and Porthcawl,” said Mike.

“If a pub has an atmosphere we like we take it. We like to work it ourselves rather than have staff all the time.”

The pair spent 10 years in Andalucia, in the mountains of “proper Spain”, first delivering fresh chips to bars and restaurants and later running a bar.

They came back to the UK last March for family reasons.

Mike and Gill also left behind an area of recession-hit Spain with 50% unemployment.

“It is a lot worse there than you hear on the TV,” Mike said.

“It is terrible, absolutely diabolical.”

The couple enjoyed fancy dress party fun with Painswick residents at New Year and are encouraging musical patrons to tickle the ivories on the pub’s piano, which is nicknamed Doris.

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