Five pubs in the East Midlands have been crowned the best in their county ahead of the National Pub & Bar Awards in June.
They are among a total of 94 pubs and bars across the UK which have been recognised as part of the awards scheme.
The annual event names the best pubs in each county, aiming to illustrate the positive and inspiring work being carried out across the UK’s hospitality industry.
The five in the East Midlands are: The Admiral Hornblower; in Rutland; The Griffin Inn, in Leicestershire; The Red Lion, at Peak Edge, in Derbyshire; The Tollemache Arms, in Northamptonshire; and Ye Olde Bridge Inn, in Nottinghamshire.
Those named as county winners have now been invited to the grand final awards ceremony, which takes place on June 28.
On the day, two different awards will be presented. The county winners will discover which pubs will be taking home a regional title and also which venue will be named the UK’s best, leaving with the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year accolade.
Hundreds of venues have applied for the awards since the start of the year, aiming to impress ahead of the red-carpet event in June.
Details of each operation have been scrutinised thoroughly ahead of the awards, outlining areas such as; design, training, team welfare, sustainability, food, drink, marketing and many other areas.
Following Covid, the UK’s hospitality sector has taken a huge hit. These awards aim to highlight how vital it is for people to support their local pubs and bars.
One of the pubs affected by the pandemic is the Goodmanham Arms, in East Yorkshire. The traditional-style Yorkshire pub is run by Italian-born Vito Logozzi and his wife, Abbie.
The Goodmanham Arms is one of the 94 finalists, vying for the national crown in late June.
After being nominated, Logozzi said: “It is really helping our spirits to run the pub, the daily routine. It’s not disappointing considering what’s happened.
Luckily enough we’re in Yorkshire, where people drink whatever weather conditions.
Asked about the secret to the pub’s success, Logozzi said: “The trick is you’ve got to have a good pint which is reasonably priced, you’ve also got to be open all the time”.
Mrs Logozzi added: “You have to be friendly to people and look after the regulars”.
As a family-run business, Abbie also emphasised the importance of “mucking in” and helping with what she can. These duties include washing up, drying, bar work and sometimes cooking.
Mr Logozzi said: “We’re overwhelmed to be nominated to represent East Riding in London, it’s brilliant!”
Despite the reopening of pubs and bars after Covid, businesses are still facing tough times. Energy costs and recruitment shortages are all by-products of this.
At the grand finale, a series of smaller awards will also be handed out. These include Pub Brand of the Year, Bar Brand of the Year, Pub Chef of the Year and Sustainable Pub & Bar of the Year. The 15 regional winners will then be announced ahead of the esteemed National Pub & Bar of the Year award.
Defending champions The Frogmill, in Cheltenham, will be looking to retain their National title after winning the award back in 2022.