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Warwickshire landlords celebrate 20th anniversary after escape to the country



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A COUPLE who turned their backs on good jobs and city life in London to escape to the countryside have just celebrated their 20th year in charge of the Turks Head pub in Alcester.

Karen Lucchesi Buxton and her husband Tom Buxton, left, have been celebrating being at the helm of The Turks Head in Alcester for 20 years. They were pictured with team members David McKinley, head chef and general manager, Dan Laight, bar supervisor, and Sidi Scarrott, sous chef. Photo: Mark Williamson. (54646946)
Karen Lucchesi Buxton and her husband Tom Buxton, left, have been celebrating being at the helm of The Turks Head in Alcester for 20 years. They were pictured with team members David McKinley, head chef and general manager, Dan Laight, bar supervisor, and Sidi Scarrott, sous chef. Photo: Mark Williamson. (54646946)

Karen Lucchesi-Buxton and Carl Buxton spent the best part of ten years in the capital, but chose the country life when they decided to run the Turks Head in Alcester High Street… without any experience of catering or the hospitality industry.

Karen worked in advertising at Marie Claire and Carl worked in recruitment.

They’d met while they were at university in Liverpool and eventually moved to London, marrying in 2001 but then the world changed when 9/11 terror attacks happened in New York.

“It was a big shake,” Karen told the Herald. “We were going to set up our own recruitment agency but 9/11 made us think more about moving out of the city and into the country.

“We’d always joked with each other about buying a pub, so 20 years ago we bought the Turks Head while still living in London and we became owners of a free house.”

Karen was born in Norton Lindsey, where her parents still live, and once everything was finalised with the pub deal, the couple moved straight to Alcester to take charge.

As can often happens for people in business, the journey brought good times and some tough times, as Karen explained.

“The floods of 2007 saw the pub cellar flooded up to chest height and they had to be cleaned professionally afterwards,” she recalled. “We took our three-month-old, our three-year-old and a dog and lived in Norton Lindsey because our home had been flooded.

“Since then we’ve survived a global recession and a global pandemic. We were able to do takeaways during Covid and the Eat Out to Help Out initiative was good for us.”

Karen added: “We’ve got a solid bank of staff and we’ve been awarded CAMRA Warwickshire Pub of the Year in 2018 and 2019. We have regular customers and celebrated 20 years with a nice party with them. We love Alcester and its communities.”

When asked about their decision to move to the country and buy a pub - did they ever look at each other and say, “what have we done?”

Karen replied: “Yes. At least for two years but now we wouldn’t change it for the world – it’s been 20 golden years at the Turks.”



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