Pub landlord turns dreary beer garden into a Spanish resort with hot tub, terrace and pool costing just £100 off Gumtree

A PUB landlord turned his dreary beer garden into a Spanish holiday resort with a hot tub, sun terrace and swimming pool for just £100 off Gumtree.

Xhemal Zeqiri and girlfriend Valentina Filip completely transformed The Jolly Anglers in Reading, Berks, during lockdown – doing all the work themselves.

The pub previously had a handful of picnic tables and staff felt that "people were scared to go in".

But the boozer now boasts a pizza oven, giant outdoor TV screen and spacious sun-soaked seating area.

There is even a 25ft-by-8ft pool which the couple bagged on Gumtree for just £100.

And thrifty landlord Xhemal claims that the whole set up cost under £5,000. 

Xhemal, 44, who fled the Kosovan war 22 years ago, said: "This was an old man's pub before, it was very dark, and people were scared to go in.

"The so-called beer garden was basically just a couple of benches in a barren yard. So I decided to create something no one's seen in a pub before.

"It's a bit special. I'm a qualified mechanic and engineer by trade. I could see the potential.

"Since the lockdown ended, we've been packed out. People love it."

Valentina, 32, who used to be a TV presenter and model in her native Romania, said: "This place was horrible before, but now we're very busy.

"We have a lot of regular customers and more keep coming!"

The couple got most of the furniture second-hand for a knock-down price during lockdown.

They paid £100 for the pool, around £800 for the decking and they installed it all themselves.

The TV and hot tub were the most expensive things, costing almost £4,000.

And despite having a one-year-old son, Amir, the hard-working pair also transformed the upstairs of the pub into a bed and breakfast with four rooms.

The pub is believed to be the only one in the UK with a swimming pool and hot tub and it has been a real hit with the locals.

Customer Andrew Knox said: "I've been drinking here for 15 years.

"Before, there were a few picnic tables, it was very basic. Now it's like a little Spanish holiday resort. It's certainly different."

One punter wrote the pub's Facebook page: "Looks great! You’ve worked so hard to create a lovely space."

Another said: "Awww looks absolutely amazing, live two mins away, may have to pop down."

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