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Make-up artist to stars takes over at village pub
Published 03/09/12

AN award-winning make-up artist has taken over a village pub with her husband.

Sallie Adams and husband Paul are the second landlords at the Crown Inn in Nuffield this year.

They have returned to the area after her husband Paul retired but then found he didn’t like having nothing to do.

Mr Adams, 60, has more than 20 years’ experience in the pub trade and used to run the Milton at Woburn Abbey.

His wife said: “Paul has always had pubs and restaurants, often around the Henley and Oxfordshire area, while I tend to step in and out depending on when I’m working.”

The Crown, which is owned by Brakspear, had been open for just five months under the previous tenants when it closed a month ago.

But the Adams say they are confident they can make the business viable by offering good pub food at reasonable prices.

Mrs Adams, who is a friend of TV presenter Phillip Schofield, who lives in Fawley, said: “The Crown is wonderful because everyone is around here — you never know who you are going to see next.

“It’s also a beautiful pub. We will be welcoming people into our front room because that’s what the pub is. If you are serving good food then people will come to you.

“We are trying not to be too specialist as there are lots of good restaurants in the area. We are going to serve very good pub food — we have a great chef and everything is fresh.

“I think once people have been here they’ll keep coming back. People will come for the beers, the wines and the atmosphere — it will be warm and relaxing.”

The couple hope to make use of the pub’s three gardens and are also considering opening a café in one of the outbuildings. The Adams say they regard Henley as “home” as they lived in New Street in the Nineties while they brought up their son Ross, now 30.

Earlier this year, they retired to Denham as Mr Adams planned to give up work but they decided within a week that it was not for them and began looking for a pub.

Mrs Adams intends to continue working as a make-up artist and her next project is a television film production of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, starring Judi Dench. She began working in the industry full-time in the Seventies as she enjoyed her Saturday job working at Max Factor, where she made up film stars including Ingrid Bergman.

Since then, she has worked with many famous names, including Tom Jones, who sang Mustang Sally to her in order to warm up his voice, and the cast of BBC drama Spooks.

She has won three Bafta awards for best make-up and hair design.

Meanwhile, the Half Moon at Cuxham has new tenants for the fourth time in two years.

Ben Sawyer and Nick Rotgans, who run the Dew Drop in Hurley and the Sun in Bethnal Green, have joined forces with chef Simon Bonwick.

They are confident that they can make the business viable.

Mr Sawyer, 32, said: “I have a record of going into pubs that have had a chequered history. When we opened the Sun we were the 17th tenants in two years.

“We want to create food of a very high standard and service of an equally high standard while keeping the pub very warm and friendly.

“We want people to feel just as welcome coming in for a pint by the fire as sitting down for a three-course meal.”

The pub has been open for drinks for the past fortnight and will serve food from next Friday.

Published 03/09/12

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