Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Landlords praised in pub awards

Landlords praised in pub awards

TWO pubs in Henley have received a Hospitality Award from owners Brakspear.

Mark Dunlop, landlord at the Angel on the Bridge, was handed the best all-rounder title, while Nigel and Julie Rainbow of the Three Horseshoes won the best cellar award. 

Both received a plaque for display in their pub and a cheque for £500.

Mr Dunlop, who has run the Angel on the Bridge for 12 years, said: “Receiving this award is a great recognition of the hard work put in over many years to make sure we deliver a great experience to every customer and I’m grateful to my fantastic team for their commitment and high standards.”

The Three Horseshoes was assessed by an independent inspector from Cask Marque, the beer quality organisation, who checked everything relating to beer service from cellar temperature and cask rotation to glassware and praise the pub’s spotless cellar.

Mr Rainbow said: “The cellar is the engine room of the pub and if you put in the time, as we do, you get a consistently great pint of beer.  It’s wonderful to have that effort recognised – thank you Brakspear!”

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “Every year, the awards shortlist reminds us of the talented licensees we are lucky enough to have running pubs with us. Choosing this year’s winners was far from easy and they should all be proud of their achievement.

“Mark has been in charge at the Angel on the Bridge for 12 years and it has gone from strength to strength. He refuses to rest on his laurels and is always looking for new opportunities to develop the pub further, such as the Club to Pub Swim after-party which has been held at the pub for several years, and a new pub quiz introduced recently.

“Our best kept cellar award recognises the importance of cellar standards which affect beer quality, and Nigel and Julie are worthy winners.”

Andrew and Jacqueline James of the Prince of Wales on Prospect Street, Caversham, took the best pub garden award. They donated their cash prize to two charities, the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Royal British Legion.

They had redeveloped the large garden behind the pub earlier this year, installing a new patio, vintage furniture and an outdoor gin bar seating up to 50 people and serving a range of gins, often garnished with herbs grown in the garden. Events held in the garden included a Gin and Cheese Festival.

Mr James said: “We’re delighted to have won this award, it’s a great reward for a lot of work that went into creating our beautiful garden.

“Our thanks to everyone who has helped us: Dave for creating the herb garden and Caroline for giving us plants from her allotment, as well as local companies Lewendon building and landscape specialists, Caversham Carpentry and Gadds Roofing.”

He added: “The support of the local community has made the pub a success, so we wanted to thank them by donating our prize to these two charities, which have a connection to a couple of our regular customers.”

Mr Davies said: “Every year, judging the awards reminds us of the many talented tenants we have running our pubs, and choosing a winner from strong shortlists in all categories is always difficult. Tonight’s winners should be very proud of their success.

“Andrew and Jacqueline have worked miracles with their garden, showing great imagination and putting in hard work to turn it into one of the most popular outdoor spaces in the area. They’ve used it to host wonderful events for their customers over the summer and it has become a fantastic asset for the pub and the local community.”

Meanwhile, Vanessa Cooke and Katrena Derricourt-Gibson, of the Catherine Wheel on Station Road, Goring, received the best business building award.

They also received a plaque for display in the pub and a cheque for £500.

Ms Cooke said: “We’ve really tried to put the pub at the heart of the local community, hosting all sorts of events – weddings, funerals, birthday parties, karaoke and sporting events such as the Grand National, Boat Race, Wimbledon and Six Nations, in both the pub and our barn.

“We hold regular live music events and we are again joining  the Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival next month, but are adding our own twist by including a mini beer festival as well.

“The pub’s location close to where George Michael lived has made it a destination for his fans. We put on an annual weekend of music, Spinning the Wheel, in celebration of his life and it’s become a huge event attracting fans from all over the world, and supporting the Terence Higgins Trust, for whom we have raised over £4,000 to date.”

She added: “We’re grateful to our fantastic staff team at the Catherine Wheel, whose hard work and high standards have helped to win this award for the pub.”

Mr Davies said: “Every year, judging the awards reminds us of the many talented tenants we have running our pubs, and choosing a winner from strong shortlists in all categories is always difficult. Tonight’s winners should be very proud of their success.

“Vanessa and Katrena took on the pub two years ago from a very successful previous licensee and have managed year on year growth in a competitive environment. We were impressed by their range of ideas to build sales, particularly their use of social media.”

A total of seven awards were presented to Brakspear licensees at an awards dinner held in a marquee outside the Bull on Bell Street pub in Henley, close to Brakspear’s Bell Street microbrewery and head office.

Ends

Catherine Wheel Award: Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies with Vanessa Cooke and Katrena Derricourt-Gibson

Three Horseshoes Award: Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies; Nigel Rainbow, Three Horseshoes;  Roger Clayson, Cask Marque

Angel Award: Mark Dunlop, Angel on the Bridge with Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies

Prince of Wales Award: Andrew James with Brakspear business development manager Gavin Mansfield

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