Skip to main content
13th October 2023

Brakspear invests in its L&T estate and tenants

Brakspear is investing £2 million in refurbishing two of its leased & tenanted pubs, after signing tenancy agreements with talented growing pub companies Little & Large and Friendship and Beer.

Little & Large Pub Company has signed its second Brakspear pub, The Leicester Arms in Penshurst, near Tonbridge. The growing pub company took on The Running Horses, at the foot of Box Hill, in early 2022, and has turned the pub, already a gem in the Brakspear L&T estate, into one of its brightest stars.  Brakspear is investing in a major refurbishment of The Leicester Arms later this month, with reopening scheduled for early 2024.

Another Surrey pub, The White Bear in Warlingham, was taken on by Friendship & Beer this summer. It is currently undergoing a complete makeover designed to create a more open space for drinking and dining and will reopen at the end of October.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “This is a serious investment in our L&T estate, and an indicator both of the potential we see in these pubs and the value we place on our partnerships with our tenants.

“We have many stunning pubs in beautiful locations across the south east, and The Leicester Arms and White Bear are fine examples, but they are only ever as good as the tenants who run them. Working with talented operators is key to our success, and we’re delighted to welcome Friendship and Beer, and to extend our relationship with Little & Large to a second pub.”

Little & Large and Friendship and Beer have signed turnover tenancy agreements, which means both the operators and Brakspear are invested in making the pubs a success. Little & Large co-founder Manu Bhatt says: “A turnover tenancy has worked well for us at The Running Horses; initially it gave us time to find our feet and as sales have grown, so has our rent to Brakspear. It’s a fair way of doing business and we’re pleased to have the same agreement at The Leicester Arms.

“Signing up for our second pub with Brakspear has been an aspiration for a while. I really like their approach and the flat structure that means I can talk direct to Tom at any time; you don’t get that kind of access at most pub companies.”

Friendship and Beer operations director Stuart Labram added: “The White Bear is a fantastic pub and once the redevelopment is complete we know it’ll fly. It’s been great working alongside Brakspear on the project; they have years of experience in refurbishing pubs, but they’ve also listened to what we want as the operators. That respect is key to a good landlord-tenant relationship, and a successful pub.”

Captions to attached image

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies (far right) with Manu Bhatt (third from right) and Richard Brown (far left) of Little & Large Pub Company and team members from The Running Horses, which won the Best Newcomer title at the Brakspear 2023 Awards


Notes to editors:

Brakspear has around 110 leased and tenanted pubs, and a further 10 in its managed division, Honeycomb Houses. Most of its pubs are based in the south-east, with an estate stretching from Dover and the south coast up to the Cotswolds. Its head office is based in Henley-on-Thames.

Little & Large Pub Company was founded in 2019 by Manu Bhatt and currently run alongside Richard Brown, who both have a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry across hotels, restaurants and pubs. In addition to their two pubs with Brakspear, the company also runs The Queens Head in Dorking and The Talbot in Brockley, south east London.  At all their pubs, the focus is on serving great food and drink in a relaxed environment, with the highest standards of service. The Running Horses was named overall winner at the National Pub & Bar Awards 2023.

The company is run by Bhatt and Brown, with support from talented teams both front and back of house. This includes executive chef Robin Freeman, who joined last year after a 20-year career in top restaurants such as Moro and 1 Lombard Street, where he worked alongside Mark Hix. Head chef at The Running Horses, Imogen Parrish, is a finalist in the San Pellegrino Young Chefs Academy Competition.

Friendship and Beer was founded in 2021 and is led by operations director Stuart Labram and executive chef Jordan Gregory-Astle. In addition to The White Bear, the company operates The Barley Mow in Tandridge, Surrey, and The Snowdrop Inn in Lindfield, West Sussex. Their mission is to make customers feel welcomed and comfortable, at all times of day, and whether they are visiting for breakfast, a beer and a snack or evening meal.  All pubs are rooted in their local communities and offer a programme of events including a monthly charity quiz, live music and seasonal events. The Barley Mow was named Pub of the Year 2023 by owners Hall & Woodhouse.

Issued on behalf of:Brakspear

By:ShielPorter Communications

Further information / 07841 694137

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.