GBPA 2022

Meet the finalists for Best Pub for Entertainment

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Final few: Take a look at the pubs who could bag the title of 'Best for Entertainment'
Final few: Take a look at the pubs who could bag the title of 'Best for Entertainment'

Related tags Events Great british pub awards Pubco + head office Freehouse Kent Bristol Cheshire Manchester Staffordshire

We've taken a deeper look into the pubs that have made it to the finals in the Best Pub for Entertainment category for the Great British Pub Awards.

The Rigger, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire

You can catch touring bands, interactive art events, hard rock and spoken word at this lively venue in Staffordshire. Art created by guests and local artists adorns the walls and there are guitars stuck around the venue.

There’s an impressive eye to detail with the grunge-style décor. Guitar necks are used to pull beer and a glowing ‘Rigger’ sign acts as a backdrop to the main stage.

Each year, the venue runs an all-nighter Halloween party. An annual New Year’s Eve party is also put on with a Great Gatsby theme. International artists are common at the venue, and bands from Hollywood, South Africa, Italy and France have all taken to the stage. Local talent and artists from further afield are all hosted at the site.

The King’s Arms, Bexleyheath, Kent

This modern, vibrant pub goes above and beyond in its entertainment offering. The site’s upcoming events are advertised on beautifully designed posters around the venue. Food is a big part of business at the King’s Arms, with the menu showcasing rainbow gnocchi, baked camembert and a range of burger options, among other dishes.

Food and entertainment are intertwined at the pub. Events have included an Asian Fusion night, a Valentine’s Day film night complete with chocolate fondue, as well as wine and charcuterie nights, where the pub’s wine supplier talk to guests about the wines on offer.

However, the pub’s entertainment offering doesn’t stop there. Singers of all dinners play among guests in the downstairs seating area. There have been South African barbecues and film screening on the site’s impressive ski-lodge inspired roof terrace.

Entertainment is also adapted to the seasons at the venue. In winter, the terrace becomes an event space for comedy and bingo nights, and there’s also a special Christmas DJ set. Saturdays are for live music, and Sundays are for themed family quizzes.

The Kings Arms, Salford, Greater Manchester

It’s a delight to explore the Kings Arms in Salford, Greater Manchester, which is made up of a range of quirky, cosy, well-kept rooms. The upstairs theatre is particularly impressive, with candlelit tables creating the perfect ambience for an evening performance.

Daytime and night-time entertainment are both valued here. Theatre, music, spoken word, lectures, debates and knitting classes are just a few of the events the Kings Arms plays host to.

The pub, which was first licensed in 1807, also has a lovely garden. Performers will feel right at home here with green rooms to get settled in. There’s also professional lighting, speakers, props and tech staff to make sure performances run smoothly with top notch quality.

Almondsbury Creative, Almondsbury, south Gloucestershire

Almondsbury Creative has been taken to new heights since owner Garth Jackson took to the helm. The building has been renovated from a town hall to a pub complete with a stage, cinema room and bowling alley, and provides a vibrant event space for the local community.

There’s something for everyone in the site’s entertainment offering, but the family is the focus. These span from kids’ events like discos, puppet shows run by the in-house entertainment team to drag shows, cider festivals and South African barbecues.

The sky’s the limit for Jackson, with there being no end to the creativity of events. The pub has hosted Disney-inspired fireworks, Harry Potter potion making classes and a lightsabre training academy. There’s also been fire jugglers, comedy nights and belly dancing shows.

On top of this, the pub gives back to the community. There are rooms used for social events like dance classes, table tennis club and slimming world and the pub also interacts with local football clubs to host events.

The Saddle Inn, Chester, Cheshire

Found in the heart of picturesque Chester, this pub defies tradition with its rock n’ roll aesthetic. From guitar necks used to pull pints to symbol-lights and band posters that deck the walls, there’s a thousand things to grab your attention.

The pub also boasts nine rock-themed rooms spread over two floors overlooking the city. Each feature a replica guitar the original artist was known for playing.

On top of this, there’s a tattoo studio on site, as well as a studio room that acts as a performance and rehearsal venue. These spaces were renovated during the pandemic, yet grunge aesthetic is not forgotten, with chandeliers adorning the walls which are painted red and black

However, the Saddle isn’t just for die-hard rock fans. As well as rock bands, the Saddle hosts jazz musicians, acoustic sessions and open mic nights. It’s a venue that stands out in the cathedral city.

The Anchor, Wingham, Kent

There’s more than meets the eye at this quirky pub in Wingham, Kent. Walk outside, and you’ll be met with an expansive garden with a pink and blue caravan that doubles as a stage. Upstairs, there’s a stage and bar area complete with pastel bunting and rustic décor.

Despite being tucked away in a small village near Canterbury, this 17th​ century pub has incredible scope. There’s a buzzing music scene at the venue, with bands heralding from the UK as well as Belgium, America and Spain. Events range from rockability to folk to jazz. Kids discos, parties and charity events are also not uncommon at the venue.

What’s more, the venue’s menu features hearty pub classics locally sourced, homecooked and mostly grown in the local area, including steak pie with mash and apple crumble and custard.

Related topics Events & Occasions

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