A popular village pub in Harrington will go up against some of the UK’s finest in a national competition after being named the county’s best hostelry.
Staff are celebrating at The Tollemache Arms, which will now represent the county and battle against 93 other winners from across the UK for the top title in the National Pub & Bar Awards 2021.
Selected on overall best practice, judges picked the pub for the county honour after an inspection across a number of different aspects of the business.
Landlord Joe Buckley said: “We are super proud that we have been awarded the county winner award and are now off to London to see if we are winners of the best pub in the country.”
It has been a tricky 18 months of Covid-19 restrictions and closures, with staff and customers having to adapt to Track and Trace, facemasks and table service apps.
Mr Buckley, 34, said: “It is about how you connect with your community. It has been very challenging during Covid but we moved outside, had a drive-through and take-away kits, and a cocktail delivery service which proved quite popular.
“We are very lucky to have such a beautiful large garden, but it is about attention to detail and the team that are working here – they are doing an amazing job. We have invested a lot in them and there has been a lot of pressure on them.”
The pubs will be officially crowned at a red carpet celebration in London on Monday, September 6. At the grand final, 15 regional winners will also be announced, as well as the esteemed accolade – the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year 2021.
On the East Midlands shortlist The Tollemache Arms will compete against pubs from across the region: Derbyshire, The Cock Inn; Leicestershire, Round Corner Brewing Taproom; Nottinghamshire, The Radcliffe and Rutland, The Admiral Hornblower.
Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, which hosts the event said: “I’ve never been prouder of this industry.
“The entries for this year’s awards demonstrated the undeniable value that communities place on their beloved pubs and bars.
“To be able to acknowledge the hard work and diligence of venues across 94 UK counties is an absolute privilege. These outstanding venues deserve this recognition now more than ever.”