No matter how much you love your local pub - yes, they never run out of Nik Naks, and that is a very good thing indeed - chances are, it’s probably not the best pub in the UK.
You can tell your mates it is all you want (so that you don’t have to travel further than 30 metres for a night out), but unfortunately, you don’t hold the official clout to get the news out there on a large scale.
The people that do, though, are John Smith’s, and their The Great British Pub Of The Year award. If they say a pub is the best in the UK, it has a good chance of being exactly that, regardless of how many packets of Nik Naks they have behind the bar.
And they’ve just released the name of the winner: The Eagle & Child in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. Ifeoma Dozie of John Smith’s deemed it the best for “the views, to the food, the events, the atmosphere, the beers and the staff”.
Add to that the pub’s initiative to help disadvantaged youth in the area by giving them opportunities like training and work experience, and you’ve got a real nice-guy pub, basically.
Or, owned by a nice guy, anyway - landlord Glen Duckett has, over his six-year tenure, helped over 100 youngsters in his pub.
Glen said: “I’m elated by what we have done and how we push young people to make themselves as employable as possible.”
And this is backed up by Ed Bedington, the editor of the awards’ organisers, the Morning Advertiser, who says:
“This is not only a first rate operation, with a great food and drink offer in stylish surroundings, this is a pub that is truly giving back to the community.”
Top stuff, but there were other winners in the competition too, so there’s still the chance your local will appear on the list (it probably won’t though, will it). Here are the rest of the winners:
Wine Pub/Bar of the Year: The Inn West End, Woking, Surrey
Beer Pub/Bar of the Year: Temple Brew House, London
Spirits Bar/Pub of the Year: Pleased to Meet You, Newcastle upon Tyne
Cider Pub/Bar of the Year: The Crown at Woolhope, Hereford
Pub Garden of the Year: The Waterside Inn, Ware, Hertfordshire
Family Pub of the Year: The Eastfield Inn, Bristol
Live Entertainment Pub of the Year: Rendezvous, Weymouth, Dorset
Food Pub of the Year: The Compasses Inn, Canterbury, Kent
Inn of the Year: The White Horse, Chilgrove, Chichester
Newcomer of the Year: The Firehouse, Curry Rivel, Somerset
Best Managed Pub of the Year: The Coach and Four, Wilmslow, Cheshire
Partnership Pub of the Year: Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom, Lancashire
Freehouse of the Year: The Roebuck Inn, Laughton, East Sussex
Community Pub of the Year: The Chandos Arms, Colindale, London
Student Pub of the Year: Dram, Glasgow
Sports Pub of the Year: Famous Three Kings, West London
Turnaround Pub of the Year: Rumba, Macclesfield, Cheshire
Nik Nak pub of the year hasn’t been released yet, but keep your fingers crossed, eh?
(Images: Google, Eagle & Child)