Best designed pubs revealed

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Best designed pubs revealed

CAMRA has unveiled the winners of its prestigious Pub Design Awards, which recognise pub architecture and conservation across the country.

There were six winners and one highly commended pub across categories ranging from refurbishment to new build in this year’s awards. These include:

New Build (pubs built in 2021):

Brewpoint, Bedford (joint winner) – Wells & Co’s flagship state-of-the-art, multi-functional brewery and office space at the gateway to the town.

Crown Wharf, Stone, Staffordshire (joint winner) – Joules’ new taphouse inspired by historic canal-side warehouses.

Refurbishment (can range from complete gutting and replacement to enhancing): 

King’s Arms, Dorchester, Dorset (winner) – The Stay Original Company has overseen a major refurbishment, which included careful repair and conservation of historic fixtures and fittings plus integration of new ones. 

Bleeding Wolf, Scholar Green, Cheshire (highly commended) – Robinsons brewery embarked on a refurbishment that has carefully conserved the interior features while subtle alterations have been made to make it fit for use in the 21st century. 

Historic England Conservation (sponsored by Historic England, and given for work which conserves the pub for future generations):

Castle, Macclesfield (joint winner) – Branching Out Two has given a new lease of life to a pub that was apparently destined for permanent closure while maintaining the feel of its historic core.

Coach & Horses, Barnburgh (joint winner) – Don Valley brewery has taken this historic pub and has carefully carried out alterations to update its facilities resulting in another site that has been given a new lease of life and is back at the centre of the village.

Community Local (reserved for outstanding refurbished street-corner locals): 

Boleyn Tavern, East Ham (winner, pictured above) – an elaborate gin palace built in 1899 that was in a sorry state when purchased by Remarkable Pubs. It spent around 18 months and close to £1.5m, lovingly overhauling the building.

The awards come as the hospitality industry continues its slow recovery from the impact of Covid. This year’s awards recognise work that was carried out during the later stages of the pandemic when restrictions on the industry were still in place. 

Judging panel chair Andrew Davison said: “Once again, the awards underline just how varied Britain’s pubs are, and we have had a hard job in selecting the winners from the entries submitted. Among the award winners, we have new pubs, old pubs, urban pubs, rural pubs, elegant old inns, elaborate Victorian gin palaces, and inter-war pubs. There was a concern that pub owners would suspend work on their buildings during the pandemic, but quite a few seem to have taken the opportunity of enforced closure to plan and carry out repairs, restoration, and improvements.

“What links them is that their owners and their architects have responded to them as individual buildings, rather than applying a standard formula – the result is a fantastically varied selection of winners. We applaud them all, and trust that these revitalised buildings will be serving their communities for many years to come.” 

CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona said: “We hope beer-lovers across the country will seek out these examples of excellence and plan visits to them over the summer. It has been an incredibly difficult few years for the pub industry with a cost-of-living crisis now compounded by a cost-of-goods crisis, all hot on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s all support our locals this summer and raise a glass to these shining examples of pub excellence.”

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