Brakspear Celebrates its Staff at Annual Awards Party

Brakspear Pubs celebrated its annual party with its tenanted and leased pub landlords last week and added a new day for its nine managed Honeycomb Houses.

The event was held at a beautiful location near Temple Island, Henley-on-Thames, where the guests enjoyed stunning views of the River Thames.

Rewind had better watch out as the Brakspear party featured stretch tents, inflatable games, marquees, with bars from various suppliers and Brakspear of course, as well as delicious food from Jaxon Keedwell, a former Brakspear landlord who now runs Valley Events cooking on open fire pits, adding to the festive atmosphere.

The Honeycomb Houses Day saw everyone dropped off at the Kenton Theatre in New Street in Henley with a map and a Brakspear poker chip to exchange for a drink at the Angel on the bridge. They then walked along the Thames Path to a pop-up bar on a boat before arriving at the party venue.

All partygoers were also treated to a cruise to and from the event on Hobbs of Henley’s boats The Waterman and the New Orleans.

Brakspear CEO Tom Davies said, “We always host our annual party for our tenanted and leased pubs but this year we made it a two-day event and hosted a day for our teams from our nine managed houses. It’s the first time we’ve hosted this event down at the land opposite Temple Island and it was a huge success.”

There was an awards ceremony on both days after lunch was served. Winners for the Honeycomb Houses Day were:

  • Service superstar – Beatriz Gonzalez, The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Heart of the house award – Deenie Harris, The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour
  • Chef rising star award – Charlie Wheeler, The Bull on Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames
  • Unsung hero award – Lauren Doughty, The Egypt Mill, Nailsworth
  • Pub of the year award – The Nag’s Head, Abingdon

Jacqueline Fletcher, Marketing Manager for Honeycomb Houses said, “This was the first year we celebrated the Honeycomb Houses all team party. It was fantastic to be able to shine the spotlight on everyone who works within our nine houses, toasting some awards and having fun as a team”.

Recipients of awards on the tenanted day were:

  • Best Garden – George & Dragon, Tunbridge Wells
  • Best Newcomer – Running Horses, Dorking
  • Best Cellar – Royal Standard, Wandsworth
  • Best Sunday Roast – Fox & Hounds, Englefield
  • Heart of the Community – Hollybush, RedBourne
  • Best Innovation – The Joker, Brighton
  • Best Online Presence – Tilbury, Datchworth

Emma Sweet, Brakspear Marketing Manager said, “It was our 10th annual party for the tenanted and leased pub landlords and was certainly the best one we’ve done. It was really well received by all those who attended. It’s always great to see pub landlords chatting away and sharing ideas. We had an after-party at the Three Tuns Boatshed bar with Wes from The Anchor DJ-ing. Everyone had a great time.”

As well as all the awards, Mel and Colin Roberson, much-loved landlords of the Saracen’s Head, received a warm farewell from Brakspear who after 26 years are hanging up their beer mats for a well-earned rest. They were presented with a £500 voucher for a weekend at any of the Brakspear Honeycomb Houses and a set of salad serving spoons with bees on them. Mel said, “it’s been a wonderful 26 years experiencing the old and new Brakspear, we couldn’t have asked for lovelier customers, it’s been a magical place to live. Colin will be putting his feet up, but I’ll be looking at keeping busy and maybe making a salad or two with my spoons”.

Brakspear CEO Tom Davis said that Mel and Colin will be truly missed at the Saracen’s Head, “They’ve made it a welcoming place and it’s the go-to pub in Henley as far as watching the sport is concerned. We’ve enjoyed working with them over the years and wish them a very happy retirement.”


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