A ‘bustling and imaginative’ 17th-century West Sussex inn run by a former art teacher has been hailed as Britain’s best pub.
The Gun Inn in the village of Findon, 15 minutes from the seafront, has been named Great British Pub of the Year 2022 at an event in Manchester hosted by comedian Russell Kane.
Owner Sally Harris clearly ran a pub like an art, with the judges saying ‘even the most seasoned audience will find something different and exciting at the Gun Inn’.
The Gun Inn (above) in the village of Findon has been named Great British Pub of the Year 2022
They continued: “Harris and his team have given this pub a modern and quirky feel without compromising its historic character. Harris has added their own unique touches to the decor, extending to the picturesque garden, while staff are encouraged to contribute their ideas to a busy calendar of events that includes themed food nights, the pub’s music festival and dog costume contests. Plus, there’s a full range of Ringwood ales at the bar and an imaginative, freshly cooked European menu that packs a tasty punch.
“The food is excellent, the interior has tables of various sizes to add to its quirky charm, a traditional roof is adorned with wooden beams and [there’s] a fireplace that exudes what a real British pub is.
“In the meantime, it has two private dining areas at the rear which lead to a large garden with a covered area welcoming those looking for refreshment while enjoying some fresh air.”
The Saddle Inn (above), Chester, won the gong for best pub for entertainment
Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, which manages the awards, said: ‘Sally’s approach to creating a modern, lively and imaginative community pub has really stood out and it’s fantastic to see fresh ideas and original enter the trade. This competition is particularly tough, with superb operators from across the UK battling it out for the top spot. Sally has done a brilliant job in a relatively short time, and she and her team should be thrilled with the success.
Among the 16 winners in each category, all the judges come together to agree on a big winner. This site “should embody the British pub and be able to seize the opportunity it has to be a voice for the industry”, read a statement.
Category winners included Strait and Narrow in Lincoln – Best Urban Pub; The Three Hills, Bartlow, Cambridgeshire – Best Country Pub; The Saddle Inn, Chester, Cheshire – Best pub for entertainment; Famous Three Kings, Fulham, London – Best pub to watch sport; The Lion in Treorchy, Wales – Community Heroes; and Tamworth Tap, Tamworth, Staffordshire – Best Pub Garden.
THE WINNERS OF THE GREAT BRITISH PUB AWARDS 2022
The Dartford Sports BarDartford – Admiral Pub of the Year
Strait and narrowLincoln, Lincolnshire – Best City/Urban Pub or Bar
The three hillsBartlow, Cambridgeshire – Best Country/Rural Pub
CampanulaGarstang, Lancashire – Best Dog Pub
The Saddle InnChester, Cheshire – Best pub for entertainment
Ye Olde Bridge InnOxton, Nottinghamshire – Best pub for families
The Shibden MillHalifax, West Yorkshire – Best Pub for Food
Tamworth faucetTamworth, Staffordshire – Best Pub Garden
The Famous Three KingsFulham, London – Best pub to watch sport
The banks of AymestreyHerefordshire – Best Sustainable Pub
The Lion of TreorchyWales – Community Heroes
The holm oakWindsor, Berkshire – Greene King Pub of the Year
The Gun InnFindon, West Sussex – Marston’s Pub of the Year
The red lionGuildford, Surrey – Punch Pub of the Year
The red lionShepperton, Surrey – Featured Pub of the Year
The old windmillCoventry, West Midlands – Stonegate Pub of the Year
The Gun InnFindon, West Sussex – Great British Pub of the Year
Game on: Famous Three Kings in Fulham, London is the best pub to watch sport in 2022
Strait and Narrow (above) in Lincoln was named the best urban/urban pub or bar
Bedington added: “It’s not about Michelin stars or spit-and-sawdust boozers. These awards recognize dynamic and superb businesses across all sectors of the industry that form the heart of the communities they serve.
“We aim to shine a light on what pubs do for local areas and how many of us had our first job in a pub where we learned key skills? These sites also provide a place where otherwise lonely people can have company and how many grassroots sports teams are supported and housed in their local?
‘Pubs haven’t had it easy in the last couple of years and it certainly doesn’t show any signs of getting any easier anytime soon either, but despite this we still see some great companies doing so much for so many people and are a beacon of hospitality and inclusiveness in these uncertain times.
Former winner Heath Ball, owner of the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, North London, said: “Winning these awards in 2018 was a game-changer. We had a 50% growth in the number of people walking through the doors over the next three months and huge media interest. The judging process was really solid and took an investment of time due to the written entry and site visit by a judge, but it was well worth it.
Ye Olde Bridge Inn, Oxton, Nottinghamshire, has been voted the best pub for families