A Shepherd Neame licensee decided to snap up a second pub to run - which was where she had her first date with her partner, Harvey.
Georgina Paxton (pictured left), who already runs The Hampton Inn in Herne Bay, took on The Rose Inn, less than two miles away, after long-serving licensee Karen Hazell retired last month.
She could not resist taking on the Shepherd Neame town centre pub in Mortimer Street when it became available, as it had such a special place in her heart.
“I have always liked the pub - it is like a village pub in the middle of the town. It has got a nice little feeling to it. It is a proper old fashioned boozer,” said Georgina.
“My partner and I knew each other before we started dating, and on our first date nine years ago, we went for a wander up the town and ended up coming in here. He knew people here and so did I, and it’s a small pub, and so we basically had the date with the whole rest of the pub!”
Experienced licensee Georgina has been running The Hampton Inn nearby in Western Esplanade for the Faversham-based family brewer for seven years, and did also have The Divers Arms in Central Parade, another Shepherd Neame site, up until four years ago, so is no stranger to running two pubs simultaneously.
“The two pubs I have now are hugely different. They have a totally different clientele – I have 27 staff at the Hampton and can do 120 covers on some Sundays. While the Rose has four staff and does not do food.”
The Rose Inn, which has a regular, loyal clientele, continues its early opening time of 10am, which it has had for many years.
As she and Harvey spend part of the year at their home in Turkey, she also has a Manager in place at both sites, with long-time colleague Katrina McGorrin (pictured right) taking the role at The Rose Inn.
Katrina worked with Georgina at The Divers Arms and also at The Hampton Inn, and was a perfect fit for The Rose Inn. Georgina said, “She was the obvious choice as Manager here. It was a bit of a no brainer.”
The three-storey pub, which has just two rooms on the ground floor for the pub, and some seating outside on the pedestrianised street, has had a little TLC applied since Georgina took over.
It previously had no internet connection, so this has been rectified, and is also set to be redecorated inside in the New Year, to make it lighter and brighter.
“There will be some little touches,” she said. “We won’t be doing too much to it or we would lose the character of the pub, and I don’t want to do that.
'There are so many pubs that are a little soulless in some respects. It didn’t need to do a lot more – it just needed to do a little more of what it does now. It just needs a little bit of a ‘zhuzh’!”
She is also considering offering it as a private venue for parties, where customers can hire the whole pub for the evening for £250.
A stone’s throw from the sea front, The Rose Inn is at the heart of Herne Bay, and promises fine ales and friendly service. It offers a selection of lagers and ales from Shepherd Neame, as well as a range of wines, spirits and soft drinks.