The Horse Guards Inn pub in Tillington, West Sussex has been crowned Pub of the Year 2017 by The Good Pub Guide.
The 300-year-old pub, which is environmentally savvy and passionate about using seasonal, local produce and recycling, sources ingredients from local suppliers, from its own vegetable garden or through foraging. The pub even encourages diners to bring their own produce to use in the kitchen.
Commenting on the accolade, licensee Sam Beard said: "I'm elated! It's wonderful. The award is such an amazing testament to all the hard work everyone does and to offer a consistent product. It's a great guide to be noticed in and we are very proud.
"Other guides are more food-led, but The Good Pub Guide is focused solely on pubs and all the elements that a pub encompasses. We are a food-led outlet, but the Horse Guards Inn is a pub, so it's nice that The Good Pub Guide gives us credit for that."
Dishes recommended by The Good Pub Guide include: black treacle-cured bacon and duck egg; game terrine with apple chutney; oak-smoked prawn bisque with chilli sherry; and slow-cooked pork belly with Moroccan spices, prunes, apricots, couscous, skate wing with bouillabaisse and saffron cream.
Desserts include: dark chocolate and cashew nut tart; cocoa nibs, blood orange and soft whipped cream and iced Bramley apple parfait; and pecan and oat crumb and stem ginger syrup.
The pubs ethos carries through to the offering of beverages, including a home-made sloe gin and farm fruit juices alongside real ales and wines.
"Sadly, in this day and age it's not as straightforward as we would like it to be, but with a bit of dedication and commitment you can do a lot to reduce your carbon footprint. We compost everything, recycle rainwater and work with local farmers and suppliers; we even recycle the packaging that they deliver."
Voted as County Dining Pub of the Year for Sussex by The Good Pub Guide last year, the Horse Guards Inn has received positive comments on The Good Pub Guide website from visitors.
Sheila Topham visited the pub in 2013 and said: "There is a good choice of wines and the food is very, very good. If their take on a Ploughman's is on, do try it - the ham is fantastic and the soft cheese comes in a pot, with crushed nuts for soil and radishes they've grown themselves buried in it to look like they are growing - and no it isn't a triumph of style over substance, it tastes fantastic."
See the full list of winners below:
- Pub of the Year Horse Guards Inn, Tillington, West Sussex
- Dining Pub of the Year Red Lion, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire
- New Pub of the Year Lion Inn, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
- Own Brew Pub of the Year Watermill, Ings, Kendal, Cumbria
- Beer Pub of the Year Fat Cat, Norwich, Norfolk
- Whisky Pub of the Year Sligachan hotel, Sligachan, Isle of Skye
- Wine Pub of the Year Woods, Dulverton, Somerset
- Unspoilt Pub of the Year Olde Gate, Brassington, Derbyshire
- Town Pub of the Year Bank House, King's Lynn, Norfolk
- Country Pub of the Year Cottage of Content, Carey, Herefordshire
- Inn of the Year Inn at Whitewell, Whitewell, Lancashire
- Value Pub of the Year Queens Head, Kirkby la Thorpe, Lincolnshire
- Licensee of the Year Judith Fish of the Applecross Inn, Applecross, Scotland
- Brewery of the Year Hook Norton Brewery, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire
- Pub Group of the Year Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars
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