NEW owners at an award-winning Oxfordshire pub are aiming to maintain 'the same high standards' that have made it a local favourite.

The King and Queen near Faringdon is due to welcome punters back on Friday, March 1.

The new duo at the helm, Jill Betterton and fiancee Stuart Horton, are aiming to cook up a royal feast as they begin their 'adventure' at the Longcot boozer, which doubles as a Bed and Breakfast.

Miss Betterton, who has lived in the area nearly all her life, said: "All we want to do is keep it the way the previous couple had it.

"Everybody said theirs were big boots to fill.

"We just want to keep it the way it has been, with really good food and our personality, to be there for locals and people from other towns to come out for a good meal."

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The venue features in the Campaign for Real Ale's Good Pub Guide 2018 and was named Oxfordshire's 'Best Traditional Pub' 2014.

50-year-old Miss Betterton, who previously worked for the BBC but has experience in B&Bs, restaurants and bar work and management, added: "I am a social sort of person, I think it's really sad to see all these pubs closing down."

Meanwhile, another Faringdon pub held a closing down party last Friday. Ruby Jacks, in the town's Market Place, shut its doors due to 'unforeseen circumstances'.

The King and Queen pair will hold a quiet opening night on the Friday, before local band Young Rosie play an opening party the following evening.

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Paying tribute to Mark and Sally Goff, who previously ran the pub for six and a half years, Mr Horton said: "We are more than aware of the past reputation of the pub.

"It is our intention to maintain those standards.

"This will be an adventure for us both and hopefully as enjoyable for all who visit as it will be for us."

A carpenter by trade, Mr Horton plans to continue working for a conservatory company while he and his partner get the pub up and running.

The 48-year-old explained to locals: "We will be moving in this month and hope to open the doors on March 1, but we do have a lot to do and staff to source, so please bear with us.

"We hope to have everyone’s support to re-establish the reputation this pub deserves and look forward to seeing you all in the very near future."

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The pair are still finalising staffing at the pub, with current staff given priority when final decisions are made on jobs.