The Kings Head Inn pub in Bledington, Chipping Norton has been crowned Pub of the Year 2018 by The Good Pub Guide, published today.
The Gloucestershire pub, which is also Gloucestershire Dining Pub of the Year 2018, was commended in the 36th edition of the guide for its lively, friendly bar, excellent drinks selection, first-class food and lovely bedrooms.
Archie and Nicola Orr-Ewing bought the 16th century inn in June 2000; and since 2006 the couple have also run the Swan Inn at Swinbrook near Burford, Oxfordshire. As well as ales such as Hook Norton Best and guests from breweries such as Butcombe, Flying Monk and Purity on handpump, the drinks list offers 10 wines by the glass, 20 malt whiskies and an extensive gin collection.
Each year the guide also carries out a national survey of beer prices. This year there has been a considerable increase in the cost of the average pint of beer in Britain – now £3.60, a 13p increase from last year, although only 1p up on the average in the guide published in 2015.
There was also found to be a £1.09-a-pint difference between Herefordshire and Yorkshire, the joint cheapest counties at £3.31, and the most expensive at £4.40 in Surrey, marking the first time in the history of the guide that London isn’t the most expensive county.
Another finding of this year’s survey is that Britain’s ever-growing range of pubs brewing their own beer typically costs £3.09 a pint, which is 51p less than the national average.
Fiona Stapley, editor of the guide, said: “Good pubs are run by naturally hospitable people who provide an equally warm welcome to regulars and visitors – everyone can feel at home and valued. We feel we belong, we matter and for a while the cares and clutter of daily life can be left behind – and this makes us happy.”
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