With the weather turning cool and autumn fast approaching, it’s the ideal time of year to hunker down at a toasty spot in one of the UK’s many, many fantastic pubs. And there simply could not be a better time to find out which of those pubs are better than all the rest.
The Great British Pub Awards are sought-after accolades in the pub world and this year they saw a record number of establishments entering the competition. Each of the 18 categories was judged by a panel of industry professionals, who determined the very best boozers across the country. If anyone really knows their stuff, it’s these guys.
And it was The Cholmondeley Arms in Cheshire that won the title of overall Great British Pub of the Year. Known to the locals as ‘The Chum’, it’s in a former Victorian schoolhouse and still boasts classroom tables and the odd blackboard.
The place was considered a ‘lost cause’ until Tim Bird and Mary Maclaughlin took it over in 2011 and gave it a major revamp. Now, The Cholmondeley Arms offers a menu full of delicious local ingredients, including a hand-crafted steak and kidney pie, plus the pub’s own gin, which is just one of their whopping collection of 366 varieties.
It also won the title of best country/rural pub, which is a testament to how hard the pair have worked to turn the place around – their success sounds well deserved.
The winner of the best city/urban pub was The Turk’s Head, in Twickenham, London, which is full to the rafters on rugby match days. However, it’s also a community hub – the place has a running club and choir, plus regular jazz, soul and blues nights.
For the foodies out there, it’s worth checking out one of the celebrated pub kitchens which was crowned, too. The best pub for food award went to The Loch & The Tyne in Berkshire, and the Candlelight Inn in Somerset, and The Cricketers in Lancashire, both have kitchens run by award-winning chefs.
All the 2023 winners of the Great British Pub Awards
Overall Great British Pub of the Year (and Best Country / Rural Pub) - The Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire
Best Pub for Food - The Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor, Berkshire
Best Pub Garden - Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton, Dorchester, Dorset
Best Pub for Families - The Plough, Normanton on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire
Best Pub for Dogs - The Bellflower, Garstang, Lancashire
Best Pub to Watch Sport - The Royal Dyche, Burnley, Lancashire
Community Hero - The Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester
Best Sustainable Pub - Stroud Brewery Taproom, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Best City/Urban Pub - The Turk's Head, Twickenham, Greater London
Best Pub for Entertainment - The Kings Arms, Bexleyheath, South East London
Stonegate Group Pub Partners Pub of the Year - Woodman, Pinner & Ruislip, Greater London
Punch Pubs & Co. Pub of the Year - The Plough, Prestbury, Cheltenham
Greene King Pub of the Year - Stag at Lyndhurst, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
Admiral Taverns Pub of the Year - Boot & Shoe, Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Marston's Pub of the Year - Rose & Crown, Worcester, Worcestershire
Best Pub Chef - Charlotte Vincent at the Candlelight Inn, Bishopswood, Somerset
Best Young Pub Chef - Karl Quirante at The Cricketers, Ormskirk, Lancashire
Did you see that the UK is officially one of the freest countries in the world?
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