Best Camping Sites Near 2021 Award Winners
Whether it’s camping, glamping or caravanning, a lot more of us will be enjoying the Great British Outdoors this summer. We’ve teamed up with pitchup.com to recommend the best sites near our 2021 National Drinks Award Winners so that you’re only a hop, skip and a jump away from our favourite pubs to quench your…
Whether it’s camping, glamping or caravanning, a lot more of us will be enjoying the Great British Outdoors this summer. We’ve teamed up with pitchup.com to recommend the best sites near our 2021 National Drinks Award Winners so that you’re only a hop, skip and a jump away from our favourite pubs to quench your thirst at the very best.
OWN BREW PUB OF THE YEAR
In the grounds of this appealingly unchanged country pub is the Hexhamshire Brewery, both are owned by the same family. The brewery’s output, including Blackhall English Stout, Devils Elbow, Shire Bitter, Wall Walker and Whapweasel, makes its way to six of the pub’s handpumps, supplemented by two draught ciders (Weston’s Old Rosie and a guest), 20 malt whiskies and a dozen wines by the glass. It’s a quaint little place whose neatly kept snug bar has genuine character.
BEER PUB OF THE YEAR
Heaven for real ale lovers, this cheerful town pub lies tucked away in a residential area just west of the city centre. The knowledgeable Mr Keatley and his hospitable staff can help guide you through the extraordinary choice of 32 perfectly kept and quickly changing beers. On handpump or tapped from the cask in a stillroom behind the bar are their own beers (Fat Cat Bitter, Honey Ale, IPA, Marmalade Cat, Tom Cat and Wild Cat), as well as guests such as Adnams Mosaic, Crouch Vale Yakima Gold, Dark Star American Pale Ale, and many more choices from across the country.
WHISKEY PUB OF THE YEAR
This traditional, often bustling bar has several linked rooms, all warmly understated with cream or terracotta walls, a mix of chairs and tables, a leather sofa and plenty of bar stools on polished bare boards or carpeting. As well as more than 500 malt whiskies, the splendid drinks choice includes real ales sourced from breweries across Britain and served from swan-necked handpumps, including Caledonian Deuchars IPA and nine daily changing guests, continental bottled beers, a farm cider and, in a remarkable display behind the counter, 50 gins, 20 rums and lots of vodkas.
WINE PUB OF THE YEAR
This special place is a hit with readers year after year. It draws a lovely mix of both drinkers and diners, and the atmosphere is gently civilised yet informally friendly. The marvellous drinks choice includes beers tapped from the cask (such as Dartmoor Legend and Exmoor Ram), farm cider, many sherries and some unusual spirits but it’s the stunning wine list that draws the most attention. Mr Groves reckons he could put 1,000 different wines up on the bar and will open any of them (for a price) for just a glass. He’s there every night and will happily chat to tables of restaurant customers about any wines they might be interested in.
GIN PUB OF THE YEAR
This former schoolhouse, now a pub and hotel, is a textbook example of how cherished historic buildings can be converted to serve their community in a new, imaginative way. Its pointed gables and ornate brickwork attract customers into an interior with plenty of architectural interest. As well as an extraordinary number of gins (400 and counting), you’ll find Cholmondeley Best (from Weetwood) plus a seasonal house ale such as School’s Out, along with guests from the likes of Hobson and Snowdonia and a farm cider on handpump, and a dozen wines by the glass on a knowledgeably chosen list.