Pineapple’s the pick of the crop

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Pineapple’s the pick of the crop

CAMRA’s North London branch has named the Pineapple in Leverton Street, Kentish Town its Pub of Pubs after three decades of running its annual Pub of the Year competition.

Local CAMRA members voted it the best, followed by the Southampton Arms in Highgate Road, in the competition run to mark the branch’s 50th anniversary and featured all the winners in the competition since it started in 1993.

Chairman Colin Coyne said: “This award is a celebration of great pubs, all of whom believe they are there to support their community. But in these times with soaring bills and continuing shortages of staff, even the best pubs are up against it. We need to support our pubs more than ever and we hope this award goes a little way to do so by promoting some of the best pubs in London.

“It’s pleasing that 14 of the 16 pubs which won a pub of the year award are still in existence and selling cask beer. And it seems appropriate that the winning pub, the Pineapple, was a pub that closed in 2002 and was only saved thanks to a concerted campaign by locals and CAMRA to save it. It even managed to come back after a fire in 2010! It’s a pub that has consistently sold great beer; its first appearance in the Good Beer Guide back in 1980 testifies to this and its warm welcome.”

Runner up, the Southampton Arms, is another pub that has come back from close to the brink. Peter Holt and his partner Jo took the pub on in 2009 and it won CAMRA’s Greater London Regional Pub of the Year in 2011.

Holt said: “It was pretty awful. The previous landlady had been ill and so the pub had not been maintained. We initially walked away but it was a lovely building. I love old pubs and a small pub is better; you don’t need many people to give it atmosphere.”

Colin added: “Like the Pineapple, the Southampton is a regular entry into CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and is also known for its community approach. It too welcomes everyone. And the pub is a destination for cider drinkers, winning CAMRA’s North London Cider Pub of the Year three times. It’s very worthy of its runner’s up place.”

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