Widow hires entire pub to host Christmas lunch for herself and lonely strangers

The Lamb and Flag in Ottery St Mary, Devon, which has been hired by the kind-hearted window. Credit: SWNS

A widow has hired an entire pub to lay on Christmas lunch for herself and up to 50 lonely strangers.

The woman, 86, lost her husband 12 years ago and has been alone for Christmas in recent years due to a lack of close family and an inability to travel.

Determined not to eat Christmas dinner alone again, the woman reserved every table in The Lamb and Flag pub in Devon and invited others who will also be on their own for the festive period.

The venue as well as the food and wine will cost the former teacher more than £1,000.

The 86-year-old - who does not have any siblings or children of her own - said she decided on "the spur of the moment" to make the gesture and remains unsure how many people will turn up to the event.

"Every time my post comes there is a request for money, and I thought rather than send the money abroad, why not help local people?" she said.

"Usually I send money to charities at Christmas, but rather than do that this year I thought about something local."