The Cott Inn strikes gold at 2019 Great British Pub Awards

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Overall winner: the Cott Inn scooped the top prize at the Great British Pub Awards
Overall winner: the Cott Inn scooped the top prize at the Great British Pub Awards

Related tags: Great british pub awards, Beer

A blend of the ancient and the modern has seen one Devonshire pub crowned the best in the country at the Great British Pub Awards.

The Cott Inn, near Dartington, Devon, took the overall title of Great British Pub of the Year in London last night after wowing judges with its stunning facilities and impeccable standards.

The pub, which is run by husband and wife Mark Annear and Mel Hard, can boast a heritage stretching back to the 1320s, and the operators have spent the past nine years transforming it into a superb all-rounder, offering a fantastic range of food, drinks and accommodation.

The pub originally took the title of Greene King pub of the Year, before fending off competition from 16 other category winners to take the overall title.

Lifting the trophy, Mark said: “It feels fantastic [to win]. We have a fantastic team who are really committed to it. They’re absolutely delighted to win.

"It’s just great to have the recognition, the pub was closed and we’ve done loads of development.

"This is seriously a great accolade and we are really pleased to get it."

Other winners on the night included the Bull in Ditchling, East Sussex, that not only won Freehouse of the Year for the second year on the run, but also took home the title of Pub Garden of the Year as well.

Molly Rafferty, the pub's general manager, said: “It feels absolutely amazing we didn’t think it was possible to win again but we’re constantly striving for more and developing our business.

"[Everyone back at the pub] is waiting for a phone call."

Young Chef of the Year was named as Liam Siddy from the Legstraps, in Wootton, Bedforshire, who fought off strong competition to create a starter for the night of the awards.

Liam said: "We saw the beef as a high quality piece of meat that didn’t need a lot of cooking. It would appeal to a wide audience as a starter.

"The pub is an amazing place to work and I’ve had an amazing mentor help me become a bigger and better chef."

Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser​, which organises the award, said: “These pubs represent the best in the business, and it’s a real honour for us to be able to celebrate with all our winners and finalists in this year’s competition.

“The awards seek to recognise and reward excellence across the board, and I’d like to congratulate the Cott Inn and all our winners on doing such a fantastic job in such a tough sector.

“The Cott Inn is a superb business run out of stunning premises in a picturesque location. But it hasn’t just relied on good looks. This is a slick, professional and well-run modern pub operation and one that has people flocking from far and wide.”

The winners on the night were:

Greene King Pub of the Year and Overall - The Cott Inn, Dartington, Devon

Greene King Pub of the Year

Best for Family - The Three Trees, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Best for Family

Best for Food - The Dog at Wingham, near Canterbury, Kent

Best for Food

Best for LGBTQ+ - Two Brewers, Clapham, London

Best for LGBTQ

Best for Sport - Belushi’s, London Bridge

Best for Sport

Best for Wine - The Unruly Pig, Bromeswell, Suffolk

Best for Wine

Best Freehouse - The Bull, Ditchling, East Sussex

Best Freehouse

Best Inn - The Cartford Inn, Little Eccelston, Lancashire

Best Inn

Best Local - The Chandos Arms, Collindale, north London

Best Local

Best Pub Garden - The Bull, Ditchling, East Sussex

Best Pub Garden

Best Pub Manager - Will Buck, the Nags Head, Covent Garden, London

Best Pub Manager

Best for Beer - The Drawing Board, Leamington Spa

Best for Beer

Best for Spirits - Criterion, St Andrews, Scotland

Best for Spirits

Best for Cider – The Brunswick Inn, Derby

Best for Cider

Best for Entertainment – Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar, Bournemouth, Dorset

Best for entertainment

Admiral Pub of the Year - Nauticus, Leith, Edinburgh

Admiral Taverns Pub of the Year

Punch Pub of the Year - The Rising Sun, Truro, Cornwall

Punch Pub

Ei Group Pub of the Year - The Tap on Tower Street, Harrogate, Yorkshire

eiGroup

Young Chef of the Year - Liam Siddy, the Legstraps, Wootton, Befordshire

Yong Chef

Chef of the Year - Tom Parker, the White Swan, Fence, Lancashire

Chef of the Yeat

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