Chestnut Group snaps up Saffron Walden pub

Christie & Co has completed the sale of The Eight Bells in Saffron Walden, Essex, on behalf of regional operator Cozy Pubs Ltd, to the Chestnut Group.

The pub is held on a lease from Punch Taverns, now part of the Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. Christie & Co sought an asking price of £185k for the leasehold.

The Eight Bells marks the eighth addition to the group for Phillip Turner, founder of the Chestnut Group, following the recent acquisition of two Suffolk coastal pubs, The Ship at Dunwich and the Westleton Crown.

The Grade II-listed inn, which dates from the 15th century features a two section, heavily beamed bar, a private dining area and a large 60-cover restaurant, which features an impressive vaulted ceiling. Outside, there is a patio to the side and a raised decking area for 50 covers to the rear.

Cozy Pubs Ltd acquired the business in 2011 and has built up a strong food-led business, which trades particularly well with party trade over the Christmas period. The decision to sell the pub enables the firm to concentrate on its room-led business, The Cricketers near Bishops Stortford.

Anthony Jenkins, Associate Director at Christie & Co handled the sale and comments, “With properties near Cambridge, Newmarket, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds and the Suffolk coast, it was a natural progression for the Chestnut Group to look to the market town of Saffron Walden, which fits their profile to a tee.”

Saffron Walden is an attractive, well preserved medieval market town with a number of historic buildings housing a mix of both national high street chains and independent retail and commercial businesses, drawing trade from both locals and tourists alike.