The owners of a vegetarian restaurant have put it up for sale for nearly half-a-million pounds following a “wonderful” 30 years in business.

Quince and Medlar, in Cockermouth, is being sold by Christie & Co with an asking price of £480,000.

The restaurant trades from two Georgian townhouses on Castlegate, next to Cockermouth Castle and close to the River Cocker.

It has been owned and operated by Colin and Louisa Le Voi since 1989.

Last year they reduced its opening hours and are now retiring.

Colin said: “We have been very happy at Quince and Medlar over the past 31 years.

“In addition to the restaurant being a wonderful business to run thanks to the support of the local community, it has also been our family home where we have brought up three children and we will treasure the memories we have made during this time.

“We have very many happy memories and it is a sad occasion, but you know when you are in business that it will have to happen and you can’t go on forever.”

Although a vegetarian restaurant was relatively novel in the 1980s, Colin said their numbers had grown.

“It was very much on the fringe when we started and it has now moved into the mainstream,” he said.

“We have been well supported and grown up with customers who have come for celebrations and we have seen them throughout their lives and it’s been wonderful.”

He said they are both from West Cumbria and plan to stay in the area after they retire.

The restaurant, which has a capacity for 28 people, is being sold alongside four-bedroom owner’s accommodation situated across the ground, first, and second floors of the properties.

Christie & Co said the two townhouses retain separate access making it easier for a new owner to sub-divide the properties in order to generate an additional rental income.

Tom O’Malley, senior business agent at Christie & Co who is handling the sale, said: “This is a unique opportunity to acquire a popular and well-established restaurant with a loyal regular clientele – the lifeblood of any successful hospitality business.

“There is plenty of scope for a hands-on buyer to drive revenue through increasing the currently limited opening hours, or by reconfiguring the ground floor space to increase the number of covers.

“The accommodation included would be ideal for an owner-operator’s residence, letting accommodation, or a combination of the two, following subdivision.”