The award-winning pub pipped the Working Boat and the Boathouse, both in Falmouth – which respectively won silver and bronze awards – to the category's gold award, with the Plume of Feathers in Portscatho, near Truro highly commended.
Named after HMS Pandora, the popular inn also scooped a bronze award in the Dog Friendly Pub of the Year category, behind respective gold and silver winners the Halzephron Inn in Gunwalloe, near Helston, and the Red Lion in Blackwater, near Truro.
The thatched roofed, 13th century pub – which this year celebrates 20 years under the ownership of publicans John Milan and Steve Bellman – has been a finalist at every Cornwall Tourism Awards since 2010 and has won 21 awards under the pair’s tenure.
“We were delighted to receive two awards last night – what better way to celebrate our milestone anniversary of 20 years at the Pandora,” Bellman said.
“The past two decades wouldn’t have been possible without all of the brilliant people who have worked at the pub - past and present - our amazing locals, our suppliers and our guests, who travel so far to come and visit us. There are so many people that make the Pandora the success it is.”
A special place
Part of St Austell Brewery’s estate of 175 pubs, the operation’s success is made all the more impressive by the fact the pub was gutted by fire in 2011. Milan and Bellman reopened the site within 12 months of the blaze before winning gold at that year’s SW England Tourism Excellence awards.
“We’re very proud of the Pandora Inn, which has been part of our tenanted estate for over 35 years,” Steve Worrall, retail director at St Austell Brewery added.
“On behalf of everyone at St Austell Brewery, I’d like to thank John and Steve for all of their fantastic work over the past 20 years.
“Last night’s accolades, and the number of awards they have won since taking on the pub in 1999, are testament to what a special place it is, and how much it means to many people.”
The pub was bizarrely given a one-star TripAdvisor review and branded “rubbish” in August 2018 by a customer who was unimpressed by its remote Restonguet Creek location – a critique Milan and Bellman dismissed for its “downright mean-spiritedness”.