Couple’s Sandy pub dream was love at first pint

Adam and kelly

Adam and kelly - Credit: Archant

A couple who first met as barman and customer in a Sandy pub have now completely renovated and re-opened it – as well as finding the time to tie the knot and have a baby in the process.

Kings Arms, Sandy

Kings Arms, Sandy - Credit: Archant

Adam Cousins, 28, and Kelly Taylor, 23, first met in the Kings Arms seven years ago, and for them it was love at first pint.

While their relationship bloomed, the somewhat run-down pub closed down.

But the couple decided to take over and lovingly renovate the pub where romance first blossomed.

Adam and Kelly, who have both lived in Sandy all their lives, moved into the pub in July this year.

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And since getting the keys, they have worked tirelessly to reopen the pub, pausing only briefly to tie the knot at St Swithun’s Church in Sandy.

The rundown pub was in need of much love and was given just that with paintbrushes, new furniture, a heap of sprucing and green fingers to enhance the garden with patio furniture and fairy lights.

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Kelly, a former marketing assistant, said: “We have been watching the pub for a couple of years as we only live across the road and felt it was the time to take it on as we have both been in the pub trade since we could work.

“We chose to open the pub two weeks after the wedding and and we had already had Leila and planned the wedding before we applied for the tenancy.

“It’s been an absolute whirlwind with everyone telling us to slow down, but there isn’t a single moment we’d change.

“The business has completely turned around and we know there is so much more to come.”

As well as running the pub, Kelly now looks after their 13-month-old daughter, Leila-May Cousins, who was born in September 2015.

The old coaching inn dates to the 1700s, and the pair have made it a popular watering hole once again – doubling its trade over the past few months.

Now the owners of the property, Hawthorn Leisure, are supporting them with further investment to develop a kitchen and a full exterior redecoration including new signage.

And there’s much more to come from the enterprising couple.

While recruiting for a full-time chef to launch the pub’s first full menu in the New Year, Adam and Kelly are planning a Christmas season to remember, capturing the spirit of community in the pub with a calendar of events, music nights and charity support.

They have live music at the beginning of each month and a charity quiz night has been set for Monday, November 28, from 8pm to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Adam said: “The pub market has definitely changed over the last decade and we are delighted to have bucked the trend in reopening a closed venue and making a huge success within the community. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

“We are so grateful for all the support from our customers and can’t wait for the next months. It’s an exciting time.”

The Kings Arms is at 27 London Road, Sandy. To find out more see their website at

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