Shepherd Neame honours its pub of the year

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Top pub prize: (L-R) Shirley Pearson, Jonathan Neame and Tony Pearson
Top pub prize: (L-R) Shirley Pearson, Jonathan Neame and Tony Pearson
The Belle Vue Tavern in Pegwell Bay, Kent, has been named as the Shepherd Neame pub of the year.

The Belle Vue beat 327 pubs in the pubco's estate to the top award and while 12 other pubs won in other categories at the Shepherd Neame annual awards. 

The William the Conqueror in Rye, East Sussex, was named the tenanted pub of the year and the Ship & Trades in Chatham, Kent, was named the best managed business.

The award for the best pub food went to the Bull in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, while the Zetland Arms in Deal, Kent, won the Beer Hero award for the excellence of its cask ales. 

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “In a competitive market, people expect the highest standards when it comes to food and drink. 

“That each of the categories in this year’s awards was so hotly contested is testament to the ability of our tenants, managers and their teams to not only meet, but consistently exceed these standards. 

“Their efforts make special the everyday pleasures of a drink and meal, and enrich the communities they serve.”

Belle Vue licensee Tony Pearson said: “I’m gobsmacked! When I told my mum I was leaving my job in a bank to run a pub she thought I was mad. This makes all our hard work worthwhile.

“We wouldn’t have got where we are today without such a strong partnership with Shepherd Neame. We’ve come together to invest money, time and effort in making this a great pub and I’m over the moon.”

The full list of winners:

  • Best Floral Display: the Abbey Hotel, Battle, East Sussex
  • Beer Hero: the Zetland Arms, Deal, Kent
  • Pub Restaurant: the Cricketers, Horsell Birch, Surrey
  • Pub Food: the Bull, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
  • Turnaround Pub of the Year: the Foresters Arms, Tonbridge, Kent
  • Heart of the Community: the Greyhound, Keston, Kent
  • New Licensee: Caroline and Brodie Mauluka, the Plough, Farnham, Surrey
  • Manager of the Year: Will Arnold, the Black Boy, Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Tenanted Pub of the Year: William the Conqueror, Rye, East Sussex
  • Managed Business: the Ship & Trades, Chatham, Kent
  • Overall Pub of the Year: the Belle Vue Tavern, Pegwell Bay, Kent
  • Outstanding Achievement: the Three Mariners, Oare, Kent
  • Innovation: the Fenn Bell, St Mary Hoo, Kent

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