A HAMPSHIRE cafe owner has taken over the tearooms at an Elizabethan manor house used by General Patton during the build-up to the D-Day landings.

The tearooms are in the grounds of historic Breamore House, which was completed in 1583 and is noted for its collection of paintings and furniture.

It later became the home of Edward Hulse, doctor to Queen Anne, George 1 and George II.

A large number of American soldiers were based in the New Forest during the run-up to the Normandy landings in 1944, including General Patton.

His office was in the 84ft long Great Hall at Breamore House, where the Utah and Omaha beach landings were planned.

The house was one of the locations used during the filming of the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightly, Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland.

Four years later it stood in for Chequers, the Prime Minister's official country residence, in an HBO special on Winston Churchill.

The tea rooms have been taken over by Allison Rust, who also runs Bridges Coffee and Dining in High Street, Fordingbridge.

She said: "I'm very pleased but obviously it was a bit daunting with the current situation."

Stressing the importance of supporting local businesses as Britain emerges from the national lockdown she added: "We really do need it now more than ever."

The tea rooms are open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between noon and 5pm and operate on a first come, first served basis.

The countryside museum at Breamore House has also reopened its doors.