The Grey Mare, Lancashire, has been named Pub of the Year in a national competition seeking the best in pubs hospitality.
Thwaites held its annual Hospitality Awards this week, open to all 250 pubs in the company.
The Grey Mare, in Belthorn, stood out for its quality of service and product and the craftsmanship of its team.
Judge Andrew Buchanan, Thwaites Director of Pubs and Brewing, said: “The pub oozes a sense of everything being done incredibly well – from the presentation and warm welcome when you arrive through to the friendliness of the staff and the quality of the food and drink. When you leave you want to return.”
The pub also took home the award for Best Investment of the year, following a major refurbishment earlier this year. Around £100,000 has been invested and the new look pub opened in February – and has been so successful that the pub has extended its opening hours due to popular demand and is now open during the daytime.
Rebecca Prince, who runs the Grey Mare with husband Stephen, said: “It came as a complete surprise to win the awards – we knew we were shortlisted for the Best Investment but the finalists were so good, we knew it was strong competition. To win that was amazing and then to be named Pub of the Year was fantastic.
“Everyone back at the pub has been made up for us and said it was well deserved. We are really overwhelmed with it all.”
Speaking about the hospitality awards, Thwaites Chief Executive Officer, Rick Bailey, said: “I feel immensely lucky to be able to work in this industry and see the vibrant talent and incredible commitment that so many people bring to making their pub successful.
“The pub is a uniquely British and enduring cornerstone of our society – the envy of much of the rest of the world, providing local employment, a safe environment in which people can meet friends, make new ones and feel comfortable with a sense of belonging.
“Standards in our pubs have never been higher with investments continuing to improve the customer experience and environment. Our awards finalists all showed great character and quality and it was an absolute pleasure to hear about their achievements and ideas.”
The awards ceremony took place at North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Penrith, following several weeks of judging around the country.