A YOUNG couple were left devastated after a restaurant and bar cancelled their engagement party just a day before it was due to take place.

Harry Ager, 22, and Becca Carley, 23, were set to celebrate in advance of their wedding next year with 140 friends and family at Boadicea, in Haven Road, Colchester, on Saturday evening.

However, on Friday afternoon, the couple received an email from the owners of the premises saying the booking had been cancelled as the restaurant was closed due to an “ongoing legal dispute”.

The restaurant was closed by bailiffs on Wednesday, with items including the chairs and tables being taken from the premises in preparation for sale at auction.

READ MORE: Boadicea bar and restaurant closed after bailiffs visit

Mr Ager’s mum Alison Ager said: “At 1.20pm on Friday we had a generic email saying the restaurant was now closed due to a legal dispute.

“We could not get hold of them despite the fact we called and emailed.

“We had 140 people coming from as far away as Liverpool and Northern Ireland but no venue.

“Our stress levels were through the roof.”

After being given the bad news, the families began a desperate scramble to find a venue which could accommodate such a large group at such short notice.

Luckily Playgolf, in Bakers Lane, was able to assist, although staff had to be called in on their days off to run the party.

Mrs Ager said: “We had to pay another £500 to have the new venue but we still didn’t have a DJ or any of the decorations ready.

“In total we spent around £900 on the short notice party and we haven’t had our £150 deposit back from Boadicea yet.

“They must have known from Wednesday when the bailiffs closed the premises.

“They could have given us another 48 hours notice.

“It would have been a bit better if they recommended anywhere else, but their email was very impersonal.”

Mrs Ager said the rearranged party went “incredibly well”.

She said: "We are now going to take out wedding insurance to try to protect ourselves in the future.”

The Gazette attempted to contact Boadicea’s owners but they did not respond by the time of going to press.

Previously, bosses said they hoped the bar would reopen soon.