In 1982 Mike and Lella Dey moved from London to start a completely new lifestyle in Cheltenham running a wine bar. They had no previous experience in the licensed trade. Mike and Lella painted the walls of their new venture bright red, which started rumours in the local community that they were Communists! The concept behind the Retreat was to create a drinking atmosphere that appealed to people who were not interested in ‘stuffy old pubs’ or were intimidated by snobby wine bars. Mike Dey set up the Retreat as somewhere where a millionaire could sit and have a drink with someone on the dole. In the summer of 2007 Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy were spotted drinking at the Retreat.