The 2023 Great British Pub Awards: Who Won?
The venue – known affectionately to locals as The Chum – took home the overall title at the 2023 Great British Pub Awards, judged by a panel of industry professionals. It’s a big win for the pub, which was once described as a ‘lost cause’, before being taken over and revamped by current owners Tim Bird and Mary Maclaughlin in 2011.
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A charming country pub located on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate in South Cheshire, The Cholmondeley Arms once stood as a Victorian schoolhouse, and some traditional features remain – from a blackboard to school tables. It offers a locally sourced menu, featuring its very own hand-crafted steak and kidney pie, plus a standout ‘Cholmondeley Mess’. Alongside this, visitors can choose from a bespoke drinks list, which includes the pub’s own gin (one of an impressive 366 gin varieties served there).
Those keen to make a night of it, meanwhile, can book a stay in one of its six recently refurbished bedrooms. The cherry on the cake? It’s dog-friendly. No wonder The Chum struck gold.
Bird said: ‘After all these years together, it means the world. When we opened, I said we can be a beacon of hope for rural pubs but now we can be an ambassador as the pub of the year for Great Britain. For the team, this is just amazing. Helen [the pub’s general manager] has worked at the Cholmondeley for 12 years and she is the epitome of what our pubs should be. I am so proud.’
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Other winners this year included The Stroud Brewery Taproom, which took home the gong for Most Sustainable Pub. It’s the only independent fully certified organic brewery in the UK, channelling a ‘buen vivir’ ethos which roughly translates as ‘living in harmony’. Solar panels provide 25 percent of the energy to run the brewery and taproom (and the rest is from renewable sources), while rainwater is collected to help flush toilets. You can find out more about the pub’s environmental initiatives in its report here).
Manchester pub The Old Abbey Tap House, meanwhile, won Community Hero as a result of its ongoing charitable initiatives. And in London, The Turk’s Head in Twickenham – a popular spot for rugby fans – won Best City/Urban Pub.
Ed Bedington, chair of judges for the Great British Pub Awards, said: ‘We’re delighted to be revealing the best pubs in the country. These businesses are pubs to cherish and support and I’d urge anyone to get out and visit these outstanding operations. We’ve recognised pubs of all types and characters, from community champions to high end food, entertainment focused through to pubs that embrace all the family, even the dog. These are the businesses that really set the standards for others to follow.
‘Our overall winner, the Cholmondeley Arms, represents the pinnacle of all our winners – this is a pub that has a wow factor that impresses anyone that crosses the threshold. Impeccably run, this is a business that will offer a warm welcome to all visitors and give them an experience that will be impossible to beat.’
You can find the full list of winners below.
Great British Pub Awards 2023: Winners
- Best City/Urban Pub – The Turks Head, Twickenham London
- Best Country/Rural Pub – Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire
- Best Pub for Food – The Loch and The Tyne, Berkshire
- Best Pub for Dogs – The Bellflower, Lancashire
- Best Pub for Families – The Plough Normanton on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire
- Best Pub for Entertainment – The Kings Arms, Bexleyheath London
- Best Pub Garden – Gaggle of Geese, Dorchester
- Best Pub to Watch Sport – The Royal Dyche, Lancashire
- Best Sustainable Pub – Stroud Brewery Taproom, Gloucester
- Community Hero – The Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester
- Admiral Pub of the Year – Boot & Shoe, West Yorkshire
- Stonegate Pub of the Year – The Woodman, Greater London
- Greene King Pub of the Year – The Stag, Hampshire
- Marston’s Pub of the Year – Rose & Crown, Worcestershire
- Punch Pub of the Year – The Plough, Prestbury
- Great British Pub of the Year – The Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire
Find out more at greatbritishpubawards.co.uk