Cross Oak Inns, the EIS-backed pub group led by Peter Eyles, is understood to be in talks to acquire Bel and the Dragon, M&C Report has learnt. The pub-restaurant business, which has four sites – located in Cookham, Godalming, Reading and Windsor – was put up for sale by Gourmet Holdings in September. The package comprises three freehold properties and one leasehold, which is the Windsor location. Gourmet is selling the business to focus on Richoux, its French brasserie concept. Eyles, who co-founded the Cross Oak Inns business with his wife Jane, is the former chairman of Hanover International, the hotel operator. Cross Oak operates a clutch of country pubs in the South East, including the King’s Arms Inn in Oakley, Surrey and the Poacher in Tudeley, Kent.