Prospect Pubs & Bars snaps up 4th site in Buckinghamshire

Prospect Pubs & Bars, owned by Dan Shotton and Mark Draper, previously of Redcomb Pubs which sold to Young’s Brewery in 2019, has taken on its fourth site, The Royal Oak, through Christie & Co.

Situated in Bovingdon Green, Marlow, The Royal Oak, featured in the Telegraph’s ‘Top 50 British Pub Gardens’, is a premium, family-friendly country pub, renowned for offering a diverse and changing menu of local produce and exceptional, friendly service.

Acquired from Salisbury Pubs through Christie & Co, this latest venture follows on from the successful opening of Prospect Pubs & Bars third site, The Blue Ball in Walton-on-the-Hill, which opened in May 2021.

The Royal Oak, which underwent a major refurbishment in spring 2020 following a fire, is a characterful, Grade 2 listed period property that still retains many of the building’s original 17th and 18th-century features.

The 65-cover dining room, decked in rich fabrics and heritage colours, includes stripped wooden floors and a cosy wood-burning stove. Whilst the large, timber-beamed open bar and intimate snug provide a warm, homely welcome that customers return to time and time again.

Outside, the expansive gardens provide ample alfresco eating and drinking opportunity for 85 covers, complete with jumbo umbrellas, heaters, blankets and an impressive 30-cover teepee that’s ideal for evening soirees or private entertaining.

Dan Shotton, Director at Prospect Pubs & Bars, said, “We’re delighted to take on The Royal Oak and have long been admirers of the site owned by husband-and-wife team David and Becky Salisbury. This truly is an exceptional country pub, that’s loved by the local community and visitors to the area, and we cannot wait to continue its legacy.

'Our ethos has always been to establish authentic pubs that stand up for good old fashioned hospitality, offer a warmth of welcome and embed themselves into the local area, both in terms of the community and the products they serve. In a nutshell, pubs that we would love to visit ourselves.

'In The Royal Oak, Becky and David have created something that meets all our ideals, and the ingredients that we believe are right in terms of operating a successful pub in the UK.”

Becky Salisbury, Co-founder of Salisbury Pubs, which also owns The Alford Arms in Frithsden near Berkhamsted, added, “Our mission has always been to strive to be true to the traditions of what you would expect from a Great British pub, and it is fabulous to be able to hand over the reins of The Royal Oak to a company such as Prospect Pubs who live and breathe the same ethos as us.

'We’ve had many happy years at the helm of this award-winning site, and look forward to seeing many more years of its success – only this time, from the other side of the bar. We wish Dan and Mark every success at The Royal Oak and in their future ventures.”

Neil Morgan, Senior Director of Pubs & Restaurants at Christie & Co, said, “We are delighted to have facilitated the sale of The Royal Oak to Prospect Pubs & Bars, on behalf of Salisbury Pubs. It was a pleasure working with David and Becky Salisbury and we are certain Dan and Mark will be wonderful custodians of the successful business they have created.

“Despite the challenges the hospitality sector continues to face as a result of COVID-19, there remains a big pool of investors keen to acquire good quality pubs, so we were able to achieve a swift confidential sale, with strong interest from each of the targeted buyers as a result.”