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Olive Branch is named UK Pub of the Year by The Good Pub Guide 2014

29 August 2013 by
Olive Branch is named UK Pub of the Year by The Good Pub Guide 2014

The Good Pub Guide 2014.

Run by friends and business partners Ben Jones and Sean Hope, the pub is named as one of 15 national and 38 county award winners by the national guide, which is published today by Ebury Press.

Fiona Stapley, joint editor alongside Alisdair Aird, of The Good Pub Guide 2014, described the Olive Branch as "a very special place and first class all-rounder".

She added: "It's civilised but warmly friendly, has a carefully chosen range of drinks, offers exceptional food and lovely bedrooms. As one of our readers aptly says, it's 'the ultimate pub experience'."

Jones said that the award confirmed that his and Hope's aim of serving good food, wine and beer and beer in a comfortable, relaxed environment had been achieved.

"We put the award down to the incredible hard work of our great team," he said. "We all have a passion for the produce we serve, from the real ale through to the food, and we all have a passion for serving our customers to the best of our abilities."

Hope, who is the Olive Branch's head chef, said: "Over the past few years of recession we've had to focus hard on our primary target of being a great all-round pub. This award recognises the team's hard work and gives us confidence we're doing the right things."

This year's guide features more than 4,700 pubs including the Top 10 Pubs as voted by over 4,000 pub goers.

They are:

Olive Branch, Clipsham, Rutland
The Cock, Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire
Horse & Groom, Upper Oddington, Gloucestershire
Rose & Crown, Snettisham, Norfolk
Olde Ship, Seahouses, Northumbria
Kings Arms, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Crown, Southwold, Suffolk
Horse Guards, Tillington, Sussex
Woods, Dulverton, Somerset
Crown, Roecliffe, Yorkshire

* The introduction to The Good Pub Guide 2014 highlights that between 2,500 and 4,000 of the 49,500 pubs in the UK could go out of business over the next year because they are stuck in the 1980s, offering "indifferent food, drink and service and surroundings".

Aird and Stapley said the loss of these pubs will make way for more energetic and dynamic new licensees, and predict more than 1,000 pubs will open next year.

"The worst quality a pub can have is a landlord that doesn't care much about the customers," said Stapley. "Licensees like that give the pub trade a bad name. Pubs closing keeps the trade healthy and robust. They have got to diversify if they want to succeed - they just can't open for lunch and open again in the evenings any more."

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