Anyone lucky enough to be at the 2012 Top 50 Gastropub Awards earlier this year shared something very special when Tom and Beth Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, was voted as the best gastropub in Britain.
The Hand & Flowers had become the only pub in the UK to be awarded two Michelin stars a few weeks before, but the Kerridges were genuinely thrilled, with tears shed, to have been voted number one in the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s Top 50 Gastropub Awards by their peers.
As Tom Kerridge says: “To win the award was a tremendous achievement by the whole team at the Hand & Flowers and one that myself and my wife, Beth, were blown away by. It has given a massive boost to staff morale and helps create publicity and customer interest.”
Now the search is on to find the pubs that will be making the gastropub A list in the 2013 Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards.
The awards, which are now in their fifth year, have established themselves as the leading event for the premium end of the UK food-led pub trade and are based on the results of a poll of top experts.
This year the PMA team will again be polling hundreds of industry experts to get their votes for the best gastropubs in the business. Voters include gastropub operators themselves, food writers, pubco catering development managers and executive chefs, celebrity and top industry chefs, and pub and hospitality company bosses.
Voting is now underway and will continue until the middle of October. Each voter is asked for their choice of the four gastropubs they have visited in the past year.
PMA editor Rob Willock says: “The awards really are the industry’s choice and it is fantastic for the pubs voted in to the top 50 to be selected by such a prestigious panel of voters.”
The pubs that make it into the top 50 list will be announced at an awards lunch at the Crazy Bear, Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, on the 28 January 2013.
For full details and entry forms visit the Top 50 Gastropubs 2013 website
The awards are being run in association with Budweiser Budvar. The company’s sales director Joe Laventure says: “We cherish our role in this event. For one thing, we run some of the best restaurants in the Czech Republic — so we understand the world of the gastropub as well as any brewer and, for another, our beer is at its best when drunk with imaginatively prepared food. Forget the stereotypical Czech food equals pork and dumplings, our Budvar does great things when served with tapas, fish, chicken or ribs, as well as red meat, to name but a few of the dishes it complements.”