AN award-winning pub near Basingstoke will change its landlord at the end of the month, after the freehold was sold.

Under its current owner and head chef Gordon Stott The Purefoy Arms, in Preston Candover, will serve its last orders on Saturday, January 27.

The identity of the new operators was unclear as is the reopening date. 

Gordon, whose accolades include ‘Pub Chef of the Year’ and two AA Rosettes, spoke to the Gazette.

He said: "During lockdown, my mother fell quite ill and I actually tried to sell the lease then, but was unsuccessful.

"Recently, the opportunity to give up the lease came around, and we felt it was time to move on.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Gordon Scott at The Purefoy ArmsGordon Scott at The Purefoy Arms (Image: Kimberley Barber)

"A wealthy third party bought the freehold, and offered the opportunity to stay, but I felt I would rather leave, it's just time to go.

"After five years, it feels like it is about time to move on. As for the future, I'm not really sure, it would be nice to stay local.

"I've got some options for moving on, but at the moment I'm just going to take the month off.

"I want to thank all of our staff, our customers and everyone else for the support we've had after looking after this local pub.

"It's been strange, facing challenges of covid and the food shortage, but it has been wonderful.

"We hope whoever takes over the Purefoy Arms does well."

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The announcement, which came as a shock to many, was initially made in a post on Facebook.

The full message reads: "To our wonderful customers.

"After an amazing five and a half years of running The Purefoy Arms, because of unexpected happenings, we will be closing our doors permanently as of the 27th January 2024, this is a very difficult message for us to be writing but we are so thankful for all your support over the years and have loved every minute.

"If you have a booking after this date then we will be in contact with you. Any vouchers will not be valid after this date.

"We really hope you understand and thoroughly apologise for any inconvenience caused. We have loved our time here and getting to know all our wonderful customers."