A PUB has was an award for being the best run in the entire south east.
The Farm @ Friday Street beat off competition from a host of bars across the region to land the title and will now compete in the national finals at the Hilton in London’s Park Lane on September 8.
There it will go head-to-head with the five other regional winners all gunning for the prize of the UK’s Best Run Pub 2011 and a chance to compete for the overall title of Great British Pub of the Year.
The annual awards are organised by leading pub industry magazine, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, and are widely recognised as the Oscars of the pub world.
A team of independent judges visited the bar earlier in the year and was bowled over by its friendly staff, attractive decor and tasty menu.
Delighted manager Paul Worman said the pub had gone ‘from strength to strength’ since he took over four years ago and said the award was down to the hard work and professionalism of his staff.
“It was brilliant to be named the south east’s Best Managed Pub 2011,” he said. “Running a pub is very difficult in the current climate and to win this award is a boost to all of us.”
Mr Worman explained how The Farm @ Friday Street uses locally sourced ingredients, all from less than 20 minutes’ drive away, and prides itself on its ever-changing menu, which is transformed daily. And he said his staff excelled in the sort of personal touch which clearly helped set them apart from the other entries.
But, according to the enthusiastic manager, turning round a pub’s fortunes in just four years has not been easy.
“We have built this from nothing. It was a sports bar and then vacant. It was hard to shake its old reputation but now we are managing to put our own stamp on it – even if some people still call it ‘the old Beefeater’.”
Mr Worman was full of praise for his chef, Dan Clamp, and his deputy manager, Gareth Nixon, but said every single member of staff had played their part in landing the coveted title.
And The Publican’s Morning Advertiser Editor Paul Charity was full of praise for the local winners.
He said, “The award recognises the managed pub that has achieved its business aims most successfully in the past year. Farm @ Friday Street is a worthy winner.”