A POPULAR country pub on the River Avon will reopen its doors next month. The New Queen Inn, in the small hamlet of Sopley just off of the B334 between Ringwood and Christchurch, was put up for sale in December last year and was due to reopen in June.

Now the official reopening date is confirmed as July 12. The traditional country pub, known for its traditional Sunday lunches and flagstone floors, has been let through Winchester firm Christie & Co to Link Pub Co Ltd which has previously run a number of pubs and restaurants across Dorset and Somerset.

A spokesman for The New Queen Inn promised “a relaxed ambience” inside and a bar stocked with “a fine selection of wines, spirits and real cask ales”.

Outside there is “decking with ample tables and chairs where one can eat and drink whilst enjoying the spectacular views over the local countryside.”

Head chef Kevin Brown added: “Bring your family, friends, colleagues or just pop in on your own, we welcome all to come and try our British pub inspired food menu and we will be adding a few excellent specials on a daily basis, taking inspiration from local seasonal produce and typical British dishes.

“We are proud to be working with many local suppliers, forging partnerships with them to ensure the freshness and quality we demand. We are constantly seeking potential culinary friends, so please let us know, any local recommendations you may have.”

* The earliest record of a pub on the site of the New Queen is 1725.

At one time it was known as the Mermaid perhaps because of its proximity to the River Avon – for many years the landlord kept a punt tied up at the end of the garden.

Its present name is believed to derive from a combination of the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1837 and the fact that until about 1840 there was an inn called the Old Queen on the corner of London Lane a hundred yards away.

The New Queen has formed part of the Avon Tyrrell Estate (named after the descendants of Sir Walter Tyrrell) for some 200 years.

The New Queen Inn is a dog friendly pub.