The Cott Inn, near Dartington, Devon took the title of Greene King Pub of the Year before beating off stiff competition from 16 fellow category winners to be crowned the Great British Pub of the Year.
The awards were announced in London this week (5 September) at a glittering ceremony held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel.
Licensee Mark Annear runs the pub with his wife Mel Hard and the duo have spent the past nine years transforming the pub into an all-rounder, with a fantastic range of food, drinks and accommodation.
Delighted to win
On winning, Annear said: “It feels absolutely amazing. We have really worked hard. We have a fantastic team and are selling lovely, local produce as well as great drinks. We are really delighted to win.”
He put the pub’s success down to having the fresh ingredients for its menu, that come from the local suppliers.
Annear said: “We are a quintessential beautiful ancient 700-year-old thatched building in the most beautiful part of the country, in a stunning area.
“We have so much going on around us with arts and culture and lovely countryside, but the most important thing is this fantastic produce. We are a food-led operation.
“We buy all our lamb and beef direct from the farmer. It is produced in Dartington, naturally reared and even the slaughter house is only three miles away. [We serve] quality, seasonal produce.
“We have an amazing natural larder around us and we are a proper pub, we do have locals, we have people coming in with dogs, regulars who come in every day, twice a day, seven days a week."
He added: “We have a lovely big beer garden for the summer, an outside kitchen, we play music on a Wednesday and Sunday night, we have got loads going on and we really are a proper British pub and it’s really great to have the recognition.”
Annear went on to say how important awards ceremonies that highlight the great work pubs are doing are to the industry.
He added: “It really does highlight the importance of a British pub. The Cott is the heart of the community. We have got a little old lady who comes in for her fish and chips every week, a British pub is so important to our culture and we need pubs in communities all over the country to stay and survive.
“There are too many pubs closing because of overheads, they just can’t survive so it’s very important we keep the British pub going and this will really help the industry.