The Good Pub Guide Awards 2013
Every year the editors of The Good Pub Guide select the very best pubs to receive awards in a range of categories. These are the very best pubs across the UK selected because of their consistent excellence. We have highlighted the "Pub of the Year" however take a look at the other awards to see changes in the pub landscape.
Our congratulations - and thanks - goes to them all.
Pub of the Year - Olive Branch, Clipsham, Rutland
A special place for an exceptional meal in comfortable surroundings, fine choice of drinks, and luxury bedrooms
The various small but charmingly attractive bars at this very thoughtfully run place have a relaxed country cottage atmosphere, with dark joists and beams, rustic furniture, an interesting mix of pictures (some by local artists), candles on tables, and a cosy log fire in the stone inglenook fireplace. Many of the books dotted around were bought at antiques fairs by one of the partners and are sometimes for sale; background music. A carefully chosen range of drinks includes Grainstore Olive Ale and a guest such as Timothy Taylor on handpump, an enticing wine list (with about a dozen by the glass), a fine choice of malt whiskies, armagnacs and cognacs, and quite a few different british and continental bottled beers. Outside, there are tables, chairs and big plant pots on a pretty little terrace, with more on the neat lawn, sheltered in the L of its two low buildings. This is a great place to make a weekend of it as their bedrooms (just opposite in Beech House with delicious breakfasts) are lovely. It can get pretty busy at peak times
Pub of the Year - Cock, Hemingford Grey (Cambridgeshire)
Imaginative food in pretty pub, extensive wine list, four interesting beers, a bustling atmosphere, and smart restaurant
After each visit, we start planning the next one' one of our enthusiastic readers tells us. And this well run, pretty pub is just the sort of place that customers do return to again and again as it cleverly manages to appeal to both drinkers and diners. The bar rooms have dark or white-painted beams, lots of contemporary pale yellow and cream paintwork, artwork here and there, fresh flowers and church candles, and throughout a really attractive mix of old wooden dining chairs, settles and tables. They've sensibly kept the traditional public bar on the left for drinkers only: an open woodburning stove on the raised hearth, bar stools, wall seats and a carver, steps that lead down to more seating, Brewsters Hophead, Great Oakley Wagtail and Welland Valley Mild and Tydd Steam Barn Ale on handpump, 17 wines by the glass and local farm cider; they hold a beer festival every August Bank Holiday weekend. In marked contrast, the stylishly simple spotless restaurant on the right - you must book to be sure of a table is set for dining with flowers on each table, pale wooden floorboards and another woodburning stove. There are seats and tables among stone troughs and flowers in the neat garden and lovely hanging baskets.
Pub of the Year - Potting Shed, Crudwell (Wiltshire)
Appealing variation on the traditional country tavern theme, a fine choice of drinks, interesting food, and friendly staff
Rather than just another pub/restaurant, this highly enjoyable place is a proper country pub where people and dogs are genuinely welcomed by the cheerful young staff and they have a fantastic range of drinks and often inventive food as well. Low-beamed rooms ramble around the bar with mixed plain tables and chairs on pale flagstones, log fires (one in a big worn stone fireplace, some well worn easy chairs in one corner, and a couple of blacktop daily papers. Four steps take you up into a high-raftered further area with coir carpeting, and there's one separate smaller room ideal for a lunch or dinner party. The rustic decorations are not overdone and quite fun: a garden-fork door handle, garden-tool beer pumps, rather witty big black and white photographs. Bath Ales Gem Bitter, Butcombe Bitter, Timothy Taylors Landlord and St Austell Tribute on handpump, as well as an excellent range of 30 wines and champagne by the glass, home-made seasonal cocktails using local or home-grown fruit, local fruit liqueurs, good coffees and popular winter mulled wine; visiting dogs may meet Barney and Rubbles (the pub dogs) and be offered biscuits. Well chosen piped music and board games. They have summer barbecues on fine Saturdays; there are sturdy teak seats around cask tables as well as picnic-sets out on the side grass among weeping willows.
For the rest of the National Award Winners for 2012 please click here
For the County Dining Pubs of the Year for 2012 please click here
Pub of the Year - Tempest Arms, Elslack (Yorkshire)
Friendly inn with three log fires in stylish rooms, several real ales, good food, and tables outside
With plenty of pubby character and really friendly, cheerful staff, this bustling inn has a good mix of both locals and visitors. It's stylish but understated with cushioned armchairs, built-in wall seats with lots of comfortable cushions, stools and lots of tables, and three log fires one greets you at the entrance and divides the bar and restaurant. There's quite a bit of exposed stonework, amusing prints on the cream walls, and maybe Molly the friendly back labrador. Hawkshead Bitter, Hetton Dark Horse, Moorhouses Premier Bitter, Theakstons Best, Thwaites Wainwright, Timothy Taylors Landlord, and a changing guest beer on handpump, ten wines by the glass, and several malt whiskies. There are tables outside largely screened from the road by a raised bank, and a smokers' shelter. The bedrooms in the newish purpose built extension, are comfortable.
For the rest of the National Award Winners for 2011 please click here
Pub of the Year - Bell & Cross, Holy Cross (Worcestershire)
Super food, staff with a can-do attitude, delightful old interior and pretty garden
Everything at this charming place is geared to ensure that you have a most enjoyable visit. Successful as a dining pub, yet still extremely welcoming if you're just popping in for a drink, it's arranged in a classic unspoilt early 19th-c layout with five quaint little rooms and a kitchen opening off a central corridor with a black and white tiled floor. Rooms give a choice of carpet, bare boards, lino or nice old quarry tiles, a variety of moods from snug and chatty to bright and airy, and an individual décor in each - theatrical engravings on red walls here, nice sporting prints on pale green walls there, racing and gundog pictures above the black panelled dado in another room. Two of the rooms have small serving bars, with Kinver Edge, Enville, Wye Valley HPA and a guest such as Timothy Taylors Landlord on hand or electric pump, around 50 wines (with about a dozen by the glass) and a variety of coffees; daily papers, coal fires in most rooms, perhaps regulars playing cards in one of the two front ones, and piped music. You get pleasant views from the garden terrace.
For the rest of the National Award Winners for 2010 please click here
Pub of the Year - Golden Heart, Brimpsfield (Gloucestershire)
Nice old-fashioned furnishings in several cosy areas, big log fire, friendly licensees, and seats on suntrap terrace
You can be sure of a warm welcome from the friendly licensees in this bustling roadside pub. It's just the place for a pint and a chat and has some genuine old character. The main low-ceilinged bar is divided into five cosily distinct areas; there's a roaring log fire in the huge stone inglenook fireplace in one, traditional built-in settles and other old-fashioned furnishings throughout, and quite a few brass items, typewriters, exposed stone and wood panelling. Newspapers to read. A comfortable parlour on the right has another decorative fireplace, and leads into a further room that opens on to the terrace. Brakspears Bitter, Butcombe IPA, Festival Gold, and Otter Bitter on handpump, some rare ciders, and a dozen wines by the glass. From the tables and chairs under parasols on the suntrap terrace, there are pleasant views down over a valley; nearby walks. The bedrooms are at the back of the pub and so escape any road noise.
For the rest of the National Award Winners for 2009 please click here