Britain’s best-looking pubs revealed
CAMRA announces the winners of its prestigious Pub Design Awards
CAMRA has just unveiled the winners of its prestigious Pub Design Awards, which recognise the most stunning feats of architecture, design and conservation in British pubs across the country.
There were six winners and one highly commended pub across different categories ranging from refurbishment to new build in this year’s awards. These include:
New Build (assessing newly built pubs in 2021):
- Brewpoint, Bedford (joint winner) –Wells & Co’s flagship state-of-the art, multi-functional brewery and office space at the gateway to the town.
- Crown Wharf in Stone, Staffordshire (joint winner) – Joules’ new taphouse inspired by historic canal-side warehouses.
Refurbishment (can range from completely gutting and replacement to enhancing the design):
- King’s Arms, Dorchester, Dorset (winner) – The Stay Original Company have overseen a major refurbishment, which has seen careful repair and conservation of historic fixtures and fittings, and careful integration of new ones.
- Bleeding Wolf, Scholar Green, Cheshire (highly commended) – Robinsons Brewery embarked on a refurbishment that has carefully conserved the interior features while subtle alterations have been made to make it fit for use in the 21st century.
Historic England Conservation (sponsored by Historic England, this award is given for work which conserves the pub for future generations):
- Castle, Macclesfield (joint winner) – Branching Out Two Ltd has given a new lease of life to a pub that was apparently destined for permanent closure, whilst maintaining the feel of its historic core.
- Coach & Horses, Barnburgh (joint winner) – Don Valley Brewery has taken this historic pub and has carefully carried out alterations to update its facilities resulting in another pub that has been given a new lease of life and is back at the centre of the village.
Community Local (reserved for outstanding refurbished street-corner locals):
- Boleyn Tavern, East Ham (winner) – an elaborate ‘gin palace’ built in 1899 which was in a sorry state when purchased by Remarkable Pubs Ltd. They spent around 18 months, and around £1.5m, in lovingly overhauling the building.
The awards come as the hospitality industry continues its slow recovery from the impact of Covid. This year’s awards recognise work which was carried out during the later stages of the pandemic, when restrictions on the industry were still in place.
Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “Once again, the awards underline just how varied Britain’s pubs are, and we have had a hard job in selecting the winners from the entries submitted. Amongst the award winners we have new pubs, old pubs, urban pubs, rural pubs, elegant old inns, elaborate Victorian ‘gin palaces’, and inter-war pubs. There was a concern that pub owners would suspend work on their buildings during the pandemic, but quite a few seem to have taken the opportunity of enforced closure to plan and carry out repairs, restoration, and improvements.
“What links them is that their owners and their architects have responded to them as individual buildings, rather than applying a standard formula – the result is a fantastically varied selection of winners. We applaud them all, and trust that these revitalised buildings will be serving their communities for many years to come.”
CAMRA will be celebrating the achievement with a presentation event on 26 July at 1pm at the Boleyn Tavern in East Ham, London, which is open to the press.
The celebration takes place during CAMRA’s Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going post-pandemic while raising a glass to our locals.
Nik Antona, CAMRA’s National Chairman adds: “We hope beer-lovers across the country will seek out these examples of excellence and plan visits to them over the summer. It has been an incredibly difficult few years for the pub industry with a cost-of-living crisis now compounded by a cost-of-goods crisis, all hot on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s all support our locals this summer and raise a glass to these shining examples in pub excellence.”