Brakspear Rewards Local Pubs at Annual Hospitality Awards

Six pubs in the Henley area have been rewarded with top honours at owners Brakspear’s Hospitality Awards 2019.

At an awards ceremony held at the Little Angel in Henley-on-Thames, the winning landlords and landladies were presented with a plaque and a prize of £500 – which Brakspear is doubling to £1,000 if they spend it on refurbishing their pub.

Their success followed rigorous judging, which reviewed sales growth, mystery customer scores and Tripadvisor reports before making the awards either for specific areas such as Sunday lunch or cellar management, or broader skills like customer service. Independent judges were involved in a number of categories.  The winning pubs locally were:

  • Best Newcomers: Adam & Niki Fortes and Colin Savory, Heron on the Ford, Charvil, Reading.
  • Best Kept Cellar: Claire & Mick Sugg, Hare & Hounds, Sonning Common
  • Best Garden: Dan Redfern, Cherry Tree, Stoke Row
  • Best Sunday Roast: Jayne Worrall, Bull, Wargrave
  • Best Fundraiser: Rachel Selman at the Unicorn, Kingwood, which raised £2010 for Mind, Brakspear’s preferred charity for 2018/19.
  • Best Customer Service: a new award this year, presented to Nicola Hickey at the Six Bells, Warborough

Jane Worrall from the Bull in Wargrave said, “I’ve been a runner-up in the Hospitality Awards before but this is my first win in 16 years with Brakspear and I’m thrilled with it! I’m not a chef, so the Sunday lunches in the Bull aren’t elaborate, just the kind of home cooking I learned from my mum. We serve around 70 roast dinners every Sunday now and generally we’re booked up – so we must be doing something right!” 

Two other awards were made: Best All-Rounder to the Connaught in Hove and Best Bar-Focused to Clayton’s in Marlow.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “Every year, the awards shortlist reminds us of the talented landlords and landladies we are lucky enough to have running pubs with us.  Choosing this year’s winners was far from easy and they should all be proud of their achievement.”

I’ve been a runner-up in the Hospitality Awards before but this is my first win in 16 years with Brakspear and I’m thrilled with it! I’m not a chef, so the Sunday lunches in the Bull aren’t elaborate, just the kind of home cooking I learned from my mum. We serve around 70 roast dinners every Sunday now and generally we’re booked up – so we must be doing something right!” Jane Worrall, Bull, Wargrave

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