A CAFE owner from Ledbury has bid a sad farewell to his business as he battles cancer.

Pascal Clarenne, who runs Chez Pascal in the town, announced he would be closing down the cafe due to his recent cancer diagnosis.

He said: "It is with great sadness that my wife and I have decided to close chez Pascal after trading for 10 years in Ledbury.

"We have weathered a few storms over the years and with increasing competition in the town business has been tough.

"This year, with the flooding and the coronavirus it has been a challenge. However, after a recent admission with pneumonia, I have been diagnosed with cancer and we decided to close to concentrate on my treatment. Call it early retirement."

Mr Clarenne and his wife Janie have been running their cafe in Ledbury for the last decade, originally running Cafe Sez in the High Street before relocating to the former Malthouse restaurant, renaming it Chez Pascal in 2013.

In 2017 they moved again, this time setting up shop in the former Delilah's Cafe in New Street.

In recent years Chez Pascal lent its support to local initiatives including the Big Breakfast, which saw many cafes and restaurants showcase the best of local food and drink.

Mr Clarenne said he feels for small businesses emerging from the coronavirus crisis and thanked his loyal customers for their supprot.

He added: "I feel for small business in the town I think it will be an uphill struggle for many.

"We would like to thank our wonderful customers who loyally stood by us over the years. It may be au revoir for now but I hope to be baking again in the near future."

Mr and Mrs Clarenne opened Chez Pascal with the vision of offering simple French food in a classic brasserie theme, as they felt there was a gap in the market for a business of that type.