The landlady of a popular Bridport pub is handing over the reins to a new owner as she embarks on a new business venture.

Former actor and model Nicole Gibson took over the Lord Nelson Hotel on East Street last year after moving to Bridport from Chetnole, near Sherborne.

The Lord Nelson is owned by Palmers Brewery and Nicole has made the big decision that she now wants to own her own venue.

The publican has taken the leap and taken over former nightclub Neon, also on East Street with plans to transform in into a wine bar named The Colmer – with a heart-warming reason behind the choice of name.

Nicole said: “Each and every time that I have walked from the Lord Nelson to The Colmer, I can see Colmers Hill - it’s a really noticeable point so it was a no brainer.”

She will continue running the pub until March 25, when the keys get handed over to the new owners.

She added: “They have found someone which is good because there are pubs closing that don’t have someone immediately going in - they probably want to put their stamp on it.

“When it’s a Palmers pub, you are a guardian and it’s in your safe hands and you fall in love with it. We hear the stories of the people who had it before - I like to put my own stamp on things and hopefully the new person will do the same.”

The publican explained that the venue saw a ‘brilliant summer.’

She said: “Bridport is such a destination in the summer. We did brilliant in the summer on the hotel side.

“Everybody is so lovely in Bridport and by taking over a venue, you are doing it for the town and the brewery have been absolutely brilliant.”

Nicole hopes to have the new wine bar open later in the year, explaining that ‘colmer means cool water,’ adding ‘and I don’t like the cold or water so it’s going to be the polar opposite – nice and dry with a warm feel.’

There will be a great selection of drinks available as well as wines, including draught beers, ciders and bitters, as well as a ‘substantial’ alcohol free menu – with Nicole preferring to opt for a non-alcoholic beverage through personal preference.

She added: “I’m so excited, I absolutely want to put my roots down here.”