Northamptonshire pub crowned regional winner in the East Midlands at the National Pub & Bar Awards 2021
"To be recognised at a national level in front of our industry's royalty was mind blowing."
A Northamptonshire pub was one of 15 pubs named as the best in its region in the National Pub and Bar Awards 2021.
The Tollemache Arms pub in Harrington was crowned as the best pub in the East Midlands as 94 county-winning venues gathered at 30 Euston Square in London to acknowledge the finest businesses in the industry.
Pub landlord, Joe Buckley, said: "Wow, it’s an amazing award to win, we love being involved in the local awards but to be recognised at a national level in front of our industry's royalty was mind blowing.
"We knew we had improved massively from when we were involved in the same awards preciously but we didn’t think we would go on and win. Our team has worked so hard since coming back, we are blessed to have them with us and we can’t wait to celebrate with them all this weekend."
The Tollemache Arms was selected to compete alongside 93 other winners dotted all over the UK after judges inspected a number of different aspects of the pub back in July.
The Northampton pub went up against some of the region's finest including The Cock Inn from Derbyshire, The Admiral Hornblower from Rutland and The Radcliffe from Nottinghamshire.
Joe continued: "We are blessed to have the most incredible pub. Set in the stunning village of Harrington, we are a quintessential thrashed chocolate box pub with rolling hills setting our back drop. Our food really uses the best of local, we don’t spoil that, we celebrate it, so we treat our produce with respect so our guests can enjoy it.
"The last year for us has been about keeeping our team together, innovation in terms of how we could generate some cash flow so we set up a drive through doing brunch every week , DIY Tolly takeaways, pizza kits, a cocktail pouch delivery service, pub roasts, you name it we did it."
Celebrating and championing the UK pub and bar market, the theatre-style red carpet event was hosted by restaurant critic, Grace Dent.
There were, overall, 15 regional winners selected from the 94 pubs and bars represented at the prestigious awards before The Galvin Green Man in Essex was crowned the national winner.
Here are the 15 regional winners of the National Pub & Bar Awards 2021:
◾ East Midlands – The Tollemache Arms, Harrington
◾ East of England – Galvin Green Man, Chelmsford
◾ London – The Gun, Spitalfields
◾ North East – Leila Lily's, Newcastle upon Tyne
◾ North West – The Church Inn, Mobberley
◾ Northern Ireland – Tomney’s Bar, Dungannon
◾ North West Scotland – The Plockton Hotel, Highlands
◾ North East Scotland – The Criterion, St Andrews
◾ South East Scotland – No.1 The Grange, Edinburgh
◾ South West Scotland – The Steamboat Inn, Dumfries
◾ South East – The Wiremill, Lingfield
◾ South West – The Wheatsheaf, Northleach
◾ Wales – Hare & Hounds, Aberthin
◾ West Midlands – The Flyford, Flyford Flavell
◾ Yorkshire and the Humber – The Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax
This year’s National Pub & Bar Awards also saw five extra accolades handed out. Pub Chef of the Year went to Simon Vickers of The Griffin in Dyfed; Havana Club’s Bartender of the Year was won by Joe Calvey of The Wiremill in Surrey; Walled City Brewery in Derry/Londonderry won Kegstar’s Taproom of the Year; JD Wetherspoon scooped Pub Brand of the Year, while The Alchemist was named Bar Brand of the Year, with both awards sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.
To find out more about the awards and view the full list of winners, visit https://nationalpubandbarawards.co.uk/.