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The Crown Southwold, Suffolk In spite of the fact that the Crown is owned by brewer Adnams and is only a minute's walk from the Sole Bay Brewery,...

The Crown

Southwold, Suffolk

In spite of the fact that the Crown is owned by brewer Adnams and is only a minute's walk from the Sole Bay Brewery, wine holds sway inside its portals. Adnams' beers are on handpull of course, but most of the managed house's clientele - guests staying in the 42 bedrooms or non-residents - is attracted by the food and wine offering.

During an average week, the Crown serves about 1,400 meals and general manager Francis Guildea estimates that about 90% of customers have wine with their meal.

Wine list tells all

A look at the wine list tells why - there are about 200 different labels, with between 18 and 24 available by the glass in

175ml or 250ml measures. Old and New World producers are well represented as well as Austrian, Greek and Lebanese suppliers.

A dozen varietals bear the Adnams Selection label and two of the Crown's three

best-sellers are from that list - a white Burgundy and a Tuscan red, both priced at £15, consumed at the combined rate of about 260 bottles per month. Wine sales grew by 5% last year and exceeded £260,000 - a figure that many pubs would be content with as their total turnover.

Well-trained staff

Deputy manager Jenny Emery says 10 staff members have Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications at either intermediate or advanced level.

Jenny says: "We actively encourage

everyone to learn about wine, not just for business reasons, but also for their personal interest."

Both front-of-house and kitchen staff

participate in regular wine tastings to build their knowledge and enable them to

recommend certain wines for specific dishes. Customers are offered a free tasting if they are uncertain about which wine to buy to accompany their meal.

To further enhance the pub's wine

offering, high quality glassware has been purchased recently. A new Verre de Vin system, which keeps wine in opened

bottles in good condition, has also been installed recently at the Crown.

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