A couple who struggled to find the house of their dreams finally got exactly what they were looking for after moving into a pub with a pool table and darts board.
Suzanne and Mark Wilcox had an ambitious checklist while searching for a spacious central Cardiff home, but didn't give up until they found The Westgate pub on Cathedral Road.
Remembering the moment the pair first laid eyes on their home, Mark told WalesOnline: "It was very much love at first sight, it is just such an incredible building, the architecture and the design, and it was just 'Wow!'"
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The Grade II-listed property is well-known to Cardiff locals for its easily recognisable façade.
Built in 1932 by Sir Percy Thomas, who also designed other well-known Welsh structures such as The Temple of Peace in Cathays Park and Swansea's Guildhall, the beautiful building is just a stone's throw from the Principality Stadium and the city centre.
Mark added their family were chuffed when they found out about the prospect.
"Our grown-up children loved the idea, they knew the place very well, so they were quite excited," he continued.
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"I think our son had visited it when it was a pub, we’d walked past it in the past but never been in it ourselves."
After coming out victorious in an auction bidding war, the couple quickly moved in with their daughter.
They said the first few days were bizarre as the former owner of the pub had left it almost exactly the same as the day it closed its doors in June 2016.
"I think the most surreal moment was coming down on the first morning to make a cup of coffee and using the coffee machine downstairs and having breakfast in the lounge bar," Suzanne said.
"It was strange, walking around a pub in your dressing gown and pyjamas, it was a little bizarre. It was also wonderful exploring all the nooks and crannies that you don’t normally get to see in a pub, all the behind the scenes."
But the unusual residence soon became an advantage with its impressive kitchen, bar set-up and games room.
The Wilcoxes became renowned for their legendary parties attended by Welsh celebrities including rugby legend and friend Jonathan 'Jiffy' Davies.
"We have had the most incredible family and friends parties in the pub," Suzanne added. "The pumps are connected but no longer work, but all of the optics and the beer fridges still work."
When it's not party time the couple also work from home, running their coaching brand Business Step Up from the former boozer,
The pair said they even get people knocking on their door to tell them their favourite stories from the pub's heyday.
Mark recalled: "Two days before one particular Christmas, we were outside the main door and this lady of a certain age said, 'Excuse me son, you’re in my way, I’m going into the pub,' and I said 'I'm so sorry but the pub is closed.'"
Sadly the Wilcoxes have decided to move onto pastures anew and are leaving the Westgate in favour of the Welsh countryside.
Suzanne said: "We will be so sad to leave but we're definitely going to have quite a few leaving parties, that's for sure."
The Westgate is going to auction with a guide price of £800,000 with Allen & Harris, Pontcanna.
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