A COUPLE have swapped Jersey for Old Malton after taking over a “lovely little pub” in the town.

Steven and Amanda Purcell moved from the Channel Islands to take over the Royal Oak in Town Street last month and are focusing on “back to basics” pub food and a rotating variety of ales.

Steve, originally from South Africa, who worked in the hospitality industry there for many years before living in Jersey, said they had wanted to “go their own way” in the pub trade but couldn’t find anything suitable on Jersey, so they looked to the north of England where Amanda is from.

“Everything there was tied to the two breweries,” Steve said. “So we looked around and found this lovely little pub.”

They have taken on head chef Kurt Vaccari and are now serving food from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes. “It’s traditional back-to-basics pub grub, all cooked in-house,” Steve said.

One touch that Steve has brought from South Africa is “bunny chow” that is being served on Sundays - a traditional “fast food” dish from Durban in South Africa which features curry in a bread roll or hollowed-out bread loaf. They also stock biltong from Jersey.

On the bar are two guest ales that are constantly changing and a third beer from Theakston’s.

“The pub’s moving from strength to strength,” Steve added. “We’ve a fantastic little garden here - we just want to look after the locals.”

The couple are running the pub with help from their daughter and also their two dogs, Millie and Bea.