A NEW pub landlord enjoyed a surprise visit from a pair of familiar faces.

Television presenter Nicki Chapman and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant have both been spotted at The Bridge.

The pub, in Stanford Bridge just over the north Herefordshire border near Sapey Common, was taken over by a new landlord, Ed Link, in April of this year.

He said: “It’s very exciting to have celebrities visit.

“Nicki Chapman and the crew from Escape to the Country happened to be in the area filming and popped in for a coffee and a spot of lunch from our snack menu. She was really lovely, very down to earth as well.

“Robert Plant came in a couple of weeks ago for a carvery and he really enjoyed it. He is from the area and remembers the pub from years ago. Again, really nice guy who made time to stop and chat regardless of the fact he is a huge celebrity!”

Mr Link said business has slowly but surely started to improve, having had a difficult start to life as a pub landlord given the pandemic.

He said: “The middle of a pandemic may seem an unusual time to decide to take the leap, but with the support of family and my knowledge and experience in hospitality, it felt as good a time as any.

“Having been in the hospitality industry for 15 or so years, I had always wanted to have a place of my own.”

Now, the Bridge landlord has found the key to success, and it comes in the form of meat and gravy.

He added: “The first few months were tricky, and it was a case of swings and roundabouts.

“Gradually over time and as restrictions have lifted it has become much better. Trade has picked up greatly and the Sunday carvery is a massive day for us.

“The reception we have had from locals and our customers both regular and new is brilliant and we are so happy to be doing something that people appreciate and come back to week after week.”