'The pub served as a lifeline' - Suffolk pub nominated for pub of the year

The Chestnut Horse in Great Finborough has been shortlisted for Great British pub of the year

The Chestnut Horse in Great Finborough has been shortlisted for Great British pub of the year - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

A Suffolk pub has been shortlisted in the Great British Pub awards for its fantastic work in supporting the local community. 

The Chestnut Horse in Great Finborough has been shortlisted in the Hawthorn Pub of the Year category.

Landlady Sharon Shipp and her team impressed the judges with their exemplary standards and dedication to the local community, and now find themselves in the final five of the competition.

Sharron Shipp and her staff at the Chestnut Horse in Great Finborough has been shortlisted for Great British pub of the year

Sharron Shipp and her staff at the Chestnut Horse in Great Finborough has been shortlisted for Great British pub of the year - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Mrs Shipp, who has been running the pub for two years, said: “When I took the pub on in September 2019, it was almost derelict, and had gone through many different landlords who offered what they wanted to offer, but not what the community needed.

"With the help of my lovely locals and amazing team, we transformed the pub into what it is today, serving a range of ales and good quality non-pretentious food - and the pub has gone from strength to strength.


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“When Covid hit, the pub served as a lifeline for many in the community, as elderly villagers were unable to get supplies.

Landlady Sharron Shipp said she is humbled to have been shortlisted for the award

Landlady Sharron Shipp said she is humbled to have been shortlisted for the award - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

"In under a week the pub became a fantastic village shop selling everything from toiletries to fresh produce and many other things. 

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"I still have to pinch myself when I think about how popular we are with our locals; it really does make me well up.

"My team and I always put the community first, and we couldn’t be happier or more humbled to be shortlisted for Hawthorn Pub of the Year.”

The pub regularly held events to raise money for worth causes, including the Great Finborough Play Park refurbishment scheme, and will be holding a MacMillan Coffee Morning on September 28. 

The popular pub has also recently benefitted from a £110,000 investment which has seen an extension added to the back of the pub, as well as refurbishments throughout.

The pubs new extension 

The pubs new extension - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

A new wine menu is also on offer at the pub and locals are treated to a monthly quiz nights and open mic nights and weekly poker nights and Mrs Shipp also delivered Sunday roasts to elderly locals since March 2020.

The winner of the competition will be announced on Tuesday, September 28. 

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