The 'nicest' pubs in the UK – as voted for by punters

THE best pubs in the UK have been revealed, as voted for by pub-goers themselves, who went above and beyond during the pandemic.

The Great British Pub Awards, running for its 21st year, has changed the way they operate due to the pandemic.

This year, they are celebrating establishments that have adapted their businesses to survive, as well as those that served the community during the pandemic.

With awards ranging from Feeding the Community to Charity Champions, here are the 15 winners of 2020.

The Nook Cocktail Bar, Weymouth

The pub and bar, which overlooks Weymouth's beach, have a cocktail menu with 80 choices and when they had to shut, they started delivering their concoctions.

The establishment won the Business Continuity Award, for continuing to offer services during the pandemic via new methods.

According to the bar: "Within one week of enforced closure, and a few days of feeling very sorry for ourselves and believing that we would probably go under, after eight years of operating… we managed to launch a Cocktail Home delivery service for our freshly made cocktails.

"We purchased 1,000 bottles online and had bespoke labels made and within one week we had sold all the bottles! To date, we have sold over 40,000 cocktails via this system. We have been so supported by the local community and have had our regulars ordering from us from the get-go."

The Portsmouth Arms, Basingstoke,

A traditional thatched pub, The Portsmouth Arms has been operating since 1997, with a large garden and cosy interior.

The Portsmouth Arms won the Charity Champion award, for launching a daily Facebook live pub quiz streamed from inside, with proceeds going to charity.

As well as breaking the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest marathon as a quiz master following a 34-hour and 11-minute virtual quiz – to date, the quizzes have raised more than £47,000 for charity.

White Horse, Kings Lynn

The White Horse pub in Norfolk is popular with seafood fans, offering freshly caught fish and mussels, which can be enjoyed in their conservatory restaurant.

They won the Community Mindfulness Award, after landlord Marvin hosted a weekly live DJ set on Facebook and donated items to the local hospital for the nurses on the critical care ward.

The Fox at Peasemore

The Fox at Peasemore calls itself the "pub worth driving for," due to it being in the middle of nowhere.

The pub won the Community Services Award for turning itself into a village shop (with the nearest being four miles away) and making deliveries to older locals.

The Keel Row, Seaton Delaval

Located near Newcastle, the pub offers all of the usual beers, ales and ciders, as well as fancy gin cocktails.

The Feeding the Community Award was given to the pub, for launching a free delivery service of food to the nearby area, which included 400 afternoon teas for VE day.

They also donated and received goods for the ‘Keel Row Food Bank,’ as well as taking part in a charity drive for the nearby animal shelter.

The Golden Lion Inn, Redruth, Cornwall

Located between Truro and Falmouth, The Golden Lion Inn offers local beers from St Austell Brewery as well as the use of the Golden Lion Campsite.

They were the Front Line Support Winner after opening a bank of fridges on the pub forecourt with ready meals for frontline workers, eventually giving away more than 2,500 free meals.

The Swan, Clewer, Windsor

The 18th century pub isn't just a pub – it is also a school for sixth form and will soon operate as a B&B.

The Swan won the Keeping the Community Entertained Award, for holding book clubs, sewing groups, Zoom bingo and live singing with donations going to the staff as well as a local charity.

Spread Eagle, Bromley Cross

While the Spread Eagle remains closed, the pub often offers events with Pool League Tuesdays, Quiz Night Thursdays, live bands on Saturdays and Rock and Roll Bingo on Sundays.

They won the Pub Shop awardfor sourcing daily fresh fruit and veg, dairy produce, and butcher meats to sell on.

This developed into a seven days a week hot food delivery service, along with afternoon teas and cheese board delivered to those who were shielding.

The Crown Inn, Gayton

Just a few miles from the Queen's Sandringham estate, The Crown Inn is popular for their hidden pub garden.

They won the Sheltering the Community Award for offering all three of its rooms to the coronavirus ward staff at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, with free lodging and laundry for three months.

The Bowgie Inn, Newquay

You can expect to see groups of surfers at The Bowgie Inn, being in Newquay, with a beer garden overlooking Crantock Beach.

They won the Staff Welfare Award, after owner Sally Pickles had to furlough the entire team of 29, but offered regular video calls with everyone.

She also live streamed yoga sessions and had a messenger group for chats and assistance whenever needed.

The Clifton Arms, Blackburn

The Clifton Arms, a small pub in Blackburn, was one of the few to reopen in the area in July with strict new procedures for guests to keep them safe.

The pub won the Admiral Taverns Pub Hero of the Year for hosting all sorts of events for the community from fundraising days to barbeques, but also raised money for the NHS and carers and delivered lunches to the vulnerable during the lockdown.

Mowden Hotel, Darlington

The Mowden Hotel usually offers a wide menu of food and drinks, with a large function venue available to hire.

They won the EI Publican Partnerships Pub Hero Award after owners Simon and Rachel raised over £9,500 in donations and cooked and delivered over 10,200 free meals, which included working six days a week to deliver free meals to vulnerable and elderly.

The Fountain, Aberfeldy

The Fountain, located in Highland Perthshire, has welcomed guests back thanks to their new safety procedures and outdoor seating area.

They were Greene King Pub Hero Winner this year.

They not only delivered close to 40,000 free meals as part of their food delivery service “Feldy-Roo”, but they also raised over £130,000 for the project.

The Victoria, Newton Le Willows

The Victoria pub is always busy, with Darts on Monday, themed quiz nights on Wednesdays, live sports all week, and karaoke and live entertainment at the weekends.

The pub is this year's Punch Pubs Hero Winner, thanks to the work of its owner Sue.

Making the most of its closure, she restored the pub to its former glory with previous iconic features brought back and turned the concrete yard into a cosy beer garden.

Hare and Hounds, West Ardsley

The Hare & Hounds has a huge beer garden with heaters and a kids play area, as well as being group and dog friendly.

They are the Stars Pubs & Bars Hero Winner this year.

Owners Jackie Fairburn and her partner Patrick McElroy  supported 30 vulnerable and shielding local residents, by offering daily chats and errand running as well as a food takeaway and delivery service, serving an average of 100 people a day.

Pubs are now forced to close at 10pm under new government guidelines.

Face masks must also be worn unless eating and drinking at a table.

Want to have the pub to yourself? You can rent an entire pub for the night where you can pull your own pints with your mates for just £17pp a night.

Source: Read Full Article