Glasses raised for Britain's best pub

A COUPLE who run a family friendly pub have raised a glass after it was judged to be the best in the country.

Annie Davidson

A COUPLE who run a family friendly pub have raised a glass after it was judged to be the best in the country.

Jane and Jono Clark own The Compasses at Pattiswick, near Coggeshall, and were inspired to make it family friendly after having their own children.

Now they have been rewarded for their efforts after being christened Great British Pub of the Year 2008 during a ceremony at the London Hilton.

They were also named family pub of the year and best pub in East Anglia in the Great British Pub Awards.

Mrs Clark, 45, said she and her husband were thrilled with the accolades which came as a complete surprise.

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The couple have owned The Compasses for three-and-a-half years and also run The Swan in Felsted which they have overseen for seven years.

She said: “We thought we had won best family pub in East Anglia when we went to the award ceremony, we knew we were the finalists for that but then we discovered we had won best family pub in the UK.

“Then we were named best pub in East Anglia and then the big one, which was Great British Pub of the Year. It was fantastic, we were very, very pleased.”

Mrs Clark said they had set out to make the pub as family friendly as possible and a place where parents could enjoy a meal and relax without worrying about their children.

“We felt there was a gap in the market and were determined to create a family pub which offered good, fresh food,” she said.

“We have a magician here once a month on Sundays who entertains the children and there is a toy box where children can help themselves and we have colouring they can do on the menus.

“We also do little things like bring out the children's main course with the parents' starter - it is little things that make a difference.”

Mrs Clark added: “We are also in a great setting - we are three miles off the A120 but we are surrounded by fields so you really feel in the middle of the country.

“Our staff are very dedicated about offering the best possible service and the front of house crew are committed and passionate about the level of service they give - and they also know how to entertain children.”

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