A PUB rescued by a local has been named the best in Britain and your local watering hole could have made the list.
The Wonston Arms in Hampshire was derelict and empty for four years before Matt Todd bought and transformed it.
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) gave the boozer the top spot for its wide range of cask ales and for putting on social events such as quizzes, food nights and even a photography club.
Todd’s pub, in the village of Wonston, has also raised more than £25,000 for charity.
He said: “I’m overwhelmed that our little pub – which had been handed a death sentence four years ago – has now been named the very best in the country.
“I have strived to recreate the kind of pub I went to in the 1970s with my dad when I was a young boy in the north of England.”
“The support from the local community and beyond has been overwhelming, helping to propel us forward despite these testing times.”
The pub is affectionately named “The best little pub in Hampshire” and has been focusing on helping the community since it was rescued.
‘MORE THAN JUST A BUSINESS’
Todd added: “Ultimately I’d like to see our pub play a vital role in supporting and employing local residents and recirculating the local pounds that are spent in our pub.
“To do this, we need to ensure our continued survival with the likes of small business rate relief, which has been absolutely vital to getting us through our fledgling years, helping us to realise our potential.”
Ben Wilkinson, National Pub of the Year Coordinator, said: “Matt and his team have created a fantastic rural village pub with a great atmosphere by shaping it around the community and its needs.
“They have realised that it takes something special to create a sense of real belonging so that people want to come out of their homes and back in the pub.
“Pubs like the Wonston Arms highlight what communities stand to lose if their local pub closes – something being experienced in all too many places.
“These types of pubs are more than just businesses, they are the heart of our local communities and part of what makes the UK the country it is.”
The Wonston Arms took the top spot out of a prestigious list of the top 16 pubs in the country.
MOST READ IN NEWS
In the top 16 were a diverse range of pubs from micro-pubs to street-corner locals to community-run pubs.
These pubs do more than just serve beer as many brew their own, host beer festivals and local events.
Each pub was judged on its atmosphere, décor, welcome service, value for money, customer mix and the quality real ale.
Did your pub make the top 16?
- Volunteer Arms (Staggs), Musselburgh – Scotland
- George & Dragon, Hudswell – Yorkshire
- Chequers, Little Gransden – East Anglia
- Cricketers Arms, St Helens – Merseyside
- Fountain Inn, Leek – West Midlands
- Little Bare, Morecambe – West Penines
- Nag’s Head, Reading – Central Southern
- Little Green Dragon, Enfield – Greater London
- Lanes, Dover – Kent
- White Hart, Bargate – East Midlands
- Surrey Oaks, Newdigate – Surrey
- Bridge End Inn, Ruabon – Wales
- Fleece Inn, Hillesley – South West
- Golden Smog, Stockton-on-Tees – North East
- Flying Horse, Rochdale – Greater Manchester
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