The Masons Arms in South Leigh – the first pub in Oxfordshire to be prosecuted for disregarding anti-smoking laws – has been put on the market by larger than life owner Gerry Stonhill.

Described by Raymond Blanc as his all time favourite pub and awarded 20 out of 20 by Marco Pierre White, the legendary watering hole draws celebs from all over the country and is a particular favourite of the motor racing fraternity.

Complete with its own helicopter pad, the Masons Arms is on the market with Colliers International at £895,000 freehold.

According to hotels director Peter Brunt the unique pub represents one of the most exciting pub opportunities for years.

Peter Brunt said: “The Masons Arms is a privately owned and personally run thatched pub close to Oxford boasting trading areas of tremendous character and a memorably eccentric owner.

“This foodie haven had received ringing endorsements from some of the biggest names in the business – one look at the website will give prospective purchasers an idea of the calibre and quality we are talking about.
“The Mason Arms was run in a very individual – probably unrepeatable – style by our client Gerry Stonhill but all the fundamentals for a fabulous business are there in spades.”
The first pub landlord in Oxfordshire to be fined for flouting the smoking ban was fined £5,750 and famously invited Tony Blair to stick his anti-smoking laws.

Peter Brunt continued: “The Mason Arms just oozes character and appeal with its two huge fireplaces in the main bar area, heavily beamed ceilings and with lots of interesting nooks and crannies for customers to enjoy.

“The particular paraphernalia that our client liked to have around him restricted the capacity to about 60 covers through the bar and restaurant but there is clearly scope for many
more. South Leigh is a fabulous location to support a quality inn.”

Gerry Stonhill said: “I have had a wonderful time here and certainly put my stamp on it. Whoever buys it will be able to put their stamp on it.”

Situated in a very favoured location north west of Oxford with easy access from the A40, the Mason Arms is a large, attractive building with its own helicopter landing area for particularly well heeled guests, with plenty of car parking, unexploited gardens and plenty of room for further development.

Believed to be a former farm house dating from the early 1600s, the Grade II listed Mason Arms is a two storey building constructed of limestone beneath a thatched roof.

There is plenty of space at first floor level for letting bedrooms although only two were offered and the extensive range of outbuildings offer tantalising development potential.

Part of the range of outbuildings to the rear, the owners’ cottage comprises a large sitting room with open fire and kitchenette, bedroom
and bathroom.

Apparently Dylan Thomas wrote a large part of Under Milk Wood while living in South Leigh and during that time made good use of the Mason Arms.

Peter Brunt concluded: “The sense of the possibilities at the Mason Arms are apparent as you enter the bar with its flagstone floor and the enormous fireplaces. There is an atmospheric restaurant in two sections with about 60 covers scope for more.”

For details contact Peter Brunt, Hotels Director, Colliers International, on 0117 917 2000.

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Source:Empica Ltd on behalf of Colliers International