A COUNTRYSIDE gastropub has closed unexpectedly.

The Royal Oak Hotel and Restaurant in Kelsall has closed due to 'unforeseen circumstances'.

This announcement, via Facebook on Tuesday (October 31), comes just months after the former owner was sentenced for food safety and hygiene offences.

William Andrew Shaw, company director of Oak Cheshire Limited which traded as the hotel on Chester Road, pleaded guilty to nine offences on May 24 at Chester Magistrates Court.

In February the previous year, Cheshire West and Chester Council food team officers visited the venue to investigate an allegation that a customer had fallen ill after being served a pizza containing gluten when they had ordered a gluten-free one.

During the inspection officers found the business to have 'inadequate procedures' in place to manage food safety and allergens, as well as a lack of training for staff.

The council stated the premises were 'dirty, with defective items of equipment, including a mouldy ice maker, risks of cross-contamination and out of date food in the fridge'.

Shaw, 58, admitted to serving the incorrect pizza and apologised, agreeing the standards of cleanliness were 'unacceptable'.

Northwich Guardian: The Royal Oak announced it had closed on Tuesday (October 31)The Royal Oak announced it had closed on Tuesday (October 31) (Image: Google Maps)

In January this year, The Royal Oak was given a new hygiene rating of five, with the council stating that the business has a new owner and management.

It is unclear who now owns the venue, with Oak Cheshire Limited still listed as an active business on Companies House, albeit with a proposal to strike it off.

Shaw meanwhile was fined £2,460 and ordered to pay £880 in costs, a £190 victim surcharge and £500 in compensation to the customer.

Attempts have been made to contact the pub.

However, when the phone number on the website is called, an automated voicemail replies: “Hello and thank you for calling Royal Oak Hotel and Restaurant in Kelsall.

“I’m afraid the hotel and restaurant are now closed until further notice, thank you.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council has also been contacted for any further information on the situation.