Brewer honours its top pubs

A SUFFOLK pub dating back to the 15th Century has been crowned “pub of the year” by a leading brewer. The Cock Inn, in Clare, scooped top honours in the Adnams Pub Awards,

A SUFFOLK pub dating back to the 15th Century has been crowned “pub of the year” by a leading brewer.

The Cock Inn, in Clare, scooped top honours in the Adnams Pub Awards, The Cherry Tree in Woodbridge won the community pub of the year title, the best newcomer was The Oyster Inn in Butley, The World's End in Mulbarton boasts the best gardens and the Hospital Arms in Colchester won best merchandising title.

Judges singled out The Cock Inn for its excellent food. A spokesman for Adnams said: “The pub was felt by the judges to be the best all round experience for customers and had fantastically dedicated and customer focused tenants.

“The pub has been transformed over the last 18 months and is welcoming to both locals and visitors.

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The honour has delighted the landlord Simon Eichhorn. But he said the accolade, while very welcome, was largely down to his customers. “We could not have done this without them and they are really chuffed. We are delighted.”

The Cherry Tree was singled out by judges for its interaction with the community.

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The Adnams spokesman said: “Customers are encouraged to play games - whether on organised quiz nights or just by playing with the extensive selection of board games placed around the pub.

“Outside there is a surprisingly large garden which features a unique “Landlady's Folly” this is a table and chairs which swings and rocks and proves popular with customers- even in the winter.

Sheila Ford, landlady at The Cherry Tree for the past eight years, said: “I think there is a community spirit here, they come in and we try to lay games on.

“The customers are really pleased about this award, everyone has been saying 'well done' to us. Running a pub is a way of life because it is seven days a week.

“The pub has changed quite dramatically - it was not a nice place when we took it over. We've refurbished and we've turned a derelict barn into four star accommodation. It's a nice place.”

The awards come at a difficult time for the pub industry.

Rupert Farquharson, director of retail at Adnams, said. “Pubs across the country are closing at a record rate of five a day and as small businesses are suffering under current economic conditions.

“However, there are many great pub operators throughout our region who run extremely successful and vibrant businesses. Adnams will celebrate this success on an annual basis through the creation of the Adnams Pub Awards.

“All Adnams tenants were invited to enter across five categories and the winners are people who have gone that bit further and worked harder to make their pub a fantastic place to visit.”

Winners in Brief:

Community Pub of the Year, The Cherry Tree, Woodbridge

Best Pub Gardens, The Worlds End, Mulbarton

Best Merchandising, The Hospital Arms, Colchester

Best Food, The Cock Inn, Clare

Best Newcomer, The Oyster Inn, Butley

Overall Winner, The Cock Inn, Clare

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