Meet the winner of the Greene King Pub of the Year 2023

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Hitting the ground running: judges were impressed with how the Stag’s operators have transformed the business
Hitting the ground running: judges were impressed with how the Stag’s operators have transformed the business

Related tags Events Great british pub awards Hampshire

A stand-out operation on the high street in Lyndhurst, the Stag Hotel has been transformed under the care and attention of its fantastic operators.

Marie and Steve Harris have only been running the Greene King site for the past three years and were new to the trade when they took it on just before the Covid pandemic hit.

Despite those challenges, they used the lockdowns to transform what had previously been a run-down site and created a business that in three short years, has already started to garner serious awards, with the pinnacle so far, being named Greene King Pub of the Year at the Great British Pub Awards in Manchester recently.

Community heart

The couple have quickly established themselves at the heart of the community in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, providing facilities and events for the area’s organisations and charities, as well as campaigning and raising considerable amounts of money, including for the local Christmas lights fund.

An innovative approach to running a pub has seen the couple not only embrace dogs at the site, but even provide washing facilities in the garden for muddy pooches, and offering a doggy-focused Sunday roast, which has proven a hit as well.

An impressive outdoor aviary is also a prominent feature in the pubs extensive garden space, adding entertainment and colour for visitors both young and old.

Team focus

Judges were also impressed by the couple’s focus on the team, with great support and training available for all team members.

That has enabled them to build a strong, focused and dedicated team which has been in place since the pub launched.

Steve and Maria also bring their infectious personality to the operation, particularly when it comes to social media, with the pair regularly starring in videos for TikTok and Facebook – a move that has resonated extremely well with the customers.

Full list of 2023 GBPA winners:

Great British Pub of the Year 2023 – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

Best City/Urban Pub – the Turks Head, Twickenham, Greater London

Best Country/Rural Pub – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

Best Pub for Food – the Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor, Berkshire

Best Pub for Dogs – the Bellflower, Garstang, Lancashire

Best Pub for Families – the Plough, Normanton on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire

Best Pub for Entertainment – the Kings Arms, Bexleyheath, south east London

Best Pub Garden – Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton, Dorset

Best Pub to Watch Sport – the Royal Dyche, Burnley, Lancashire

Best Sustainable Pub – Stroud Brewery Taproom, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Best Pub Chef – Charlotte Vincent, Candlelight Inn, Chard, Somerset

Best Young Pub Chef – Karl Quirante, the Cricketers, Ormskirk, Lancashire

Community Hero – the Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester

Admiral Pub of the Year – Boot & Shoe, Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire

Stonegate Pub of the Year – the Woodman, Ruislip, north west London

Greene King Pub of the Year – the Stag, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

Marston’s Pub of the Year – Rose & Crown, Worcester, Worcestershire

Punch Pub of the Year – the Plough, Prestbury, Gloucestershire

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