GBPA 2023

Meet the winner of the Punch Pub of the Year 2023

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Active role: the Plough ticks all the boxes when it comes to operating a great pub
Active role: the Plough ticks all the boxes when it comes to operating a great pub

Related tags Punch Pubco + head office Great british pub awards Events

With its thatched roof and quirky interior, the Grade 2 listed Plough looks the quintessential country pub, and thanks to the care and attention of tenants Emma and Paul Gibbon it’s grown into much more, a family-friendly venue that plays an active role in a pretty conservation village on the outskirts of Cheltenham.

The couple are making the most of an awkward space and a tiny bar counter, no more than a hatch, which serves Cask Marque-accredited local ales straight from the barrel. And from its tiny kitchen chef Paul delivers a diverse mid-market menu of interesting dishes based on local ingredients with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.

External appeal

Pizzas have recently been added, and the pub opens for breakfast when Cheltenham races are on.

The Gibbons have also created a beautiful beer garden with comfortable dining areas, floral displays, a children’s playground and a pétanque pitch. In summer it hosts events including a ‘monster’ cider festival with live bands that the locals are more than willing to help organise, feeling it belongs to them.

To make more indoor space, a smart garden room has been built that not only works as an overspill for the pub at busy times but is also good for private parties, group meetings and special events.

Alluring destination

And under the tall pines at the bottom of the garden, they hope to introduce glamping pods to make the Plough even more of an alluring destination.

But their efforts don’t stop at the door of the pub, networking locally to organise Cheltenham and Gloucester Beer Week, which this year they celebrated with a collaboration beer. Emma has also become a voice for the pub trade, speaking out about the challenges the industry faces.

All told, the Plough is better than a picture on a chocolate box. It’s what goes on inside the business that’s setting it apart.

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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