A COUPLE are living the dream after taking over the reins of a village pub where they hope to implement their ambitious vision.

Andy Lodge and Rosie Hill became landlord and lady of The Bell Inn, in Beckingham Street, Tolleshunt Major, last month, and the two have already began an exciting transformation.

To the rear of the pub, in the large adjoining field, land has been set out for a vegetable allotment where the pub will grow its own veg, while pigs are set to arrive in the coming weeks as they push to become self-contained.

Plans for a mini golf course at the pub have also been laid out, while Andy hopes to convert one of the outbuildings into a village shop, giving residents an easier option to pick up their essentials.

He explained: “I want to make this into a really welcoming, family pub.

“We have got a lot of things planned in the pipeline that we are really excited about.

“There is going to be a nine hole golf course, somewhere between pitch and putt and crazy golf, built in the field to the back. We will have a large allotments where we can grow our own veg to use and sell in the village shop that we are wanting to open in one of the outbuildings.

“I think that could be really useful. It will just be for your essential bits and pieces. At the moment you are talking about a 15 minute drive for a pint of milk.”

At the heart of their vision though, is the pub, which is something of a dream for the couple.

Rosie said: “We applied for a pub before but we didn’t get it. Then we saw this one and applied for it. We came down to take a look and it was exactly what we wanted. We fell in love with the place.

“The locals have been really positive and really supportive which has been fantastic as well.”

“From working for other people, this is exactly what I always wanted to have. My own place where I could implement my own ideas,” added Andy, who prior to taking over at the pub worked as the general manager at the Royal Burnham Yacht Club.

“Everything will be up and running by next spring hopefully, and obviously the veg planting is going to be an ongoing thing.”

The pair are planning a number of events at the pub over the coming months as they look to make it a centre point for the village.

For more information visit thebeckinghambell.com.