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  • Writer's pictureStuart Pearce

Is this the end for Secret Rum Bar?

After years of blog articles, over 250 rum reviews and tasting events for more than 200 people, I have made the huge decision to sell my beloved bar. And the 250 year old converted pub home that sits above it.

Building my bar, fully restoring The Warren Arms and spreading the love for fine rum has been an amazing experience, opening my eyes to a new world and introduced me to many new and fantastic people - the rum family :-)

So why sell? Our kids having grown up and flown the nest, it's time to throw caution to the wind and follow our dream of running a hospitality business in Madeira. We need the equity from our house to kick start this dream.

Where will you live? For the next couple of years, while we get this crazy dream off the ground, we will continue with our day jobs. We will be living in a combination of local house/pet sits, and Vanessa (our trusty Mercedes Sprinter van conversion).

I'm writing this today from a lovely barn conversion in the surrey hills where we are looking after 5 huskies for 2 weeks. [A benefit of COVID is the ability for many to work remotely - my firm operates a 40% in office rule, so I will be taking advantage of office showers, toilets and coffee machines when we're living in the van, and working remotely when we're house sitting. I'll do more detailed articles on the cathartic exercise of culling a lifetime of belongings, and the logistics & the highs and lows of this nomadic lifestyle over the coming months]

What do you do with 400 bottles of rum? All are catalogued, boxed and moved to easy access storage in a secret location. I maintain a travelling mini bar as you would expect :-) And look forward to having the full collection out to see, taste and share when we're set up in our new venture.

Will there still be tasting events? In person & zoom tastings have been fantastic fun and a great way for a wide range of people to try a unique variety of rare rums. I hope to still offer these via pop-up venues, online and at people's houses.

What about rum reviews and blog articles? After the recent hiatus while we packed up our 4 bed home, and found our feet in this new crazy lifestyle, I'll be back blogging and reviewing in the coming weeks.

What next? A break from bills, mortgage and council tax. And from the ongoing DIY unavoidable with old house projects. A complicated, albeit exciting nomadic life that I will endeavour to document, alongside the rums, on my blog. And regular trips to Madeira as we refine our vision and search out the right location.

Finally, what did you choose for your last dram? Oooh, it was a tough decision! I opted for a Vinha Alta Double Distilled Agricole Daiquiri and a neat pour on the side of the incredible Mhoba FAQ Plastic.

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