Pubs taste success in AA Hospitality Awards

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Ticking boxes: the pubs were judged on a multitude of criteria including excellent food
Ticking boxes: the pubs were judged on a multitude of criteria including excellent food
The AA announced its top three British pubs at its 21st annual Hospitality Awards in London’s Grosvenor House this week (Monday 24 September).

The Crafty Baa in Windermere, Cumbria, won AA Pub of the Year at the awards, which were hosted by TV presenter, radio personality, model and journalist, Claudia Winkleman.

This accolade is selected with the help of AA inspectors. The pubs stand out for being great all-rounders, combining a convivial atmosphere, well-kept beers and ciders, excellent food and a warm welcome from the friendly and efficient hosts and their staff, the AA said.

The Crafty Baa owners Lisa and Ben Fleming Gregg said: “Winning the award means a tremendous amount to us for all the hard graft we have put into making the Crafty Baa possible.”

Unique style

AA Hospitality said: “The Crafty Baa is the brainchild of Vince, Lisa and Ben who shed their own blood, sweat and tears in building the place themselves.

“About 80% of the materials they used were either recycled or upcycled, which has gone a long way into giving it a unique style and atmosphere.

“Set over three floors, there’s an array of seats and tables where good food and an extensive range of beers from around the world can be enjoyed.

“Several beers are available on draught and the team is keen for you to taste before you buy.”

The AA Pub of the Year in Wales award was won by the Nags Head Inn, Garthmyl, Montgomery, and proprietor James Divall said: “We are extremely thrilled and excited to win this special award, which recognises the high standards achieved consistently by our excellent team."

On the map

He added: “We all pride ourselves on providing a five-star customer experience and this award will help to put the Nags Head Inn and mid Wales on the hospitality map.”

AA Hospitality described the venue as a “pleasant spot for an intelligently renovated country pub”.

It also said: “The dining area is an expansive space, opening onto a patio, with antique books and ingredient-themed pictures to draw the eye. Traditional comfort food dishes are interleaved amid more modern ideas.”

The Scottish Pub of the Year was the Pot Still in Glasgow, and AA Hospitality hailed the venue’s whisky offer.

It said: “The Pot Still, like many pubs in Glasgow, offers whisky but there aren’t many that boast more than 700 [varieties].

“Add to this its range of Scottish and German ales, which you can enjoy with one of the pub’s ‘proper pies’ it serves, and it is a must for any whisky lover when in Glasgow’s theatre land.”

Director of the Pot Still Geraldine Murphy said: “On behalf of ourselves and our staff team, we feel truly honoured to received this award. We are absolutely delighted and would like to thank everyone at AA for their support.”

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