A trip down GBPA memory lane

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

GBPA: A trip down memory lane
GBPA: A trip down memory lane

Related tags GBPA Events Great british pub awards

With the deadline to enter the Great British Pub Awards (GBPA) 2024 fast approaching, The Morning Advertiser (MA) has taken a look back at the last five years of the event.

Organised by the MA, the awards, now in its 25th year, will be returning to Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on Tuesday 17 September 2024 for a celebration of epic proportions.

Last year saw Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars​ pub the Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire, take home the overall title of Great British Pub of the Year.


The pub impressed judges with its traditional features, premium food offering and reputation for all things gin.

Beacon of hope

Its owner Tim Bird ​said: "I said when we opened, we can be a beacon of hope for rural pubs and for the team, this is just amazing.

“The award has helped us shine a great light on the strength of the rural pub in the UK and we are very honoured indeed to have been able to do this for others to follow."

Other winners in 2023 included the Loch & the Tyne in Berkshire, which took the award for Best Pub for Food after judges noted its focus on sustainable British luxury.

Meanwhile, the Gaggle of Geese in Dorchester saw success in the Best Pub Garden category thanks to its myriad of activities and sprawling outdoor area and the Plough Normanton-on-the-Wolds was named Best Pub for Families with its charm and warm welcome.

This year, cash prizes are up for grabs for Community Pub of the Year winner courtesy of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP).

"It’s an absolute validation for all the hard work by all the team. It’s amazing."

Sponsoring the category, CCEP will be awarding a £1,000 prize for a charitable purpose to each of the finalists in the category, with the winner taking home a cheque for £5,000.

Previous winners have used the money to support local causes, purchase defibrillators and host community events.

Going back to 2021, the Last Post Remembrance Bar & Museum was the event’s community hero while the Lion in Treorchy and the Old Abbey Taphouse in Manchester took the title in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Also new to the Great British Pub Award this year is the Best Beer Pub of the Year category, which is being sponsored by the Society of Independent Brewers and Associates (SIBA).

SIBA chief executive Andy Slee said: “Judges will not only be looking for a great range of beers on offer, but also impeccable cellar skills, great customer service and staff with a real passion and knowledge for the beer they serve. I look forward to seeing who is in the running for this year's inaugural award.”

In 2019, the Unruly Pig in Suffolk, which is currently number one of the Top 50 Gastropubs list, took home the award for the Best for Wine.


“Winning at the Great British Pub Awards can mean a huge amount to the businesses that win"

Owner Brendan Padfield told the MA at the time: “I am just so excited. We focused on the food, we then refocused on the wine – it’s an absolute validation for all the hard work by all the team. It’s amazing, I love it.”

Chaplin’s and the Cellar Bar in Dorset was 2019’s winner of Best Live Entertainment after reaching the final on several occasions.

Owner Harry Seccombe said in 2019: “We live and breathe entertainment so it’s really good to get the recognition. Six times in the final is really good but to actually win it really means a lot.”

GBPA over the years

A finalist in four categories, and winner of two – Best Freehouse and Best Pub Garden – the Bull in Ditchling, East Sussex, was one of the big winners at the 2019 awards while Greene King pub the Cott in Dartington took the overall prize that year.

With a focus on community spirit in the midst of the Covid pandemic, 2020’s awards were a little different, having been livestreamed in an emotional ceremony that demonstrated the selflessness and dedication of pub’s across the country.

Every advantage 

The awards have also showcased some a number of talented chefs in the past through live cookoffs and the Best Young Pub and Best Pub Chef categories.

Past winners of the Best Young Pub accolade include Samuel McClurkin, who was chef at the Dog at Wingham pub in Kent at the time of his win in 2021 and Tiffany Long in 2022, who was with the White Hart Free House at the time of her achievement.

Last year’s winner was Karl Quirante of the Cricketers in Ormskirk, Lancashire.

In 2019, Tom Parker, at the time chef at the White Swan in Lancashire, saw success in the Chef of the Year of the category while 2022.

As well as shining a light on the great work done by the pub sector, the event is also a one-of-kind celebration with something for everyone, from food and drink to games and live entertainment.

There have also been a number of celebrity hosts for the awards, including actor and comedian Hugh Dennis in 2019, TV host Stephen Mulhern in 2020, DJ Scott Mills in 2021, comedian Russell Kane in 2022 and DJ Edith Bowman last year.


Ed Bedington, editor of the MA​, said: “These awards have been running for a quarter of a century now and are the pinnacle for anyone in the pub sector, recognising great sites across a range of categories, and picking out the best of the best.

“Winning at the Great British Pub Awards can mean a huge amount to the businesses that win and with the current challenges in the market, it’s vital to give your operation every advantage you can."

  • Are you running the nation's best pub? Enter the 2024 Great British Pub Awards here​​.

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