GBPA 2022

Meet the winner: Marston’s Pub of the Year – the Gun Inn, Findon, West Sussex

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Creative crew: the team at the Gun Inn are empowered to bring their own ideas to the table
Creative crew: the team at the Gun Inn are empowered to bring their own ideas to the table

Related tags Events Great british pub awards Marston's pub company Pubco + head office

Former art teacher Sally Harris has brought her own creative touches to a pub that's served the village since the 17th century.

Her clever and often witty additions only enhance the quirky charm of the Gun as you go from room to room and then out into the pretty garden with its ivy-clad backdrop glimpsed from the road through a grand, if creaky, pair of gates.

When Covid restrictions forced other pubs to install Perspex screens between tables, Sally went out and found antique windowed doors, which did the job more attractively. So much so that some of them have stayed to make cosy corners.

Empowered team

Then there are a couple of rather unusual urinals which, she admits, divide the crowd. Gents, you’ll have to see for yourselves.

That sense of fun and originality is encouraged in Harris’ team who are empowered to bring their own ideas to a busy events calendar.

Highlight of the year is the pub’s own Summer Bank Holiday music festival, GunFest, which gives local acts a chance to perform in front of hundreds of people, and the usual annual events are given a unique twist each time. Last Hallowe’en it staged a fancy dress contest – for dogs.

Constantly creative

And the Gun’s enthusiastic customers can book their own special occasions and parties in the private dining room or the barn in the garden.

The creativity extends to the kitchen, where freshly-cooked inventive dishes with a European slant are constantly evolving, and the chef’s work is showcased on Monday evenings when a themed menu - French in winter, Spanish in summer – packs out the pub on a formerly quiet night.

And none of that distracts from the Gun’s role as a welcoming and inclusive local where regulars banter and quaff pints of Ringwood ales. It’s the kind of pub where anyone can feel at home – and find a little excitement and a laugh when they need it.

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