A village pub reopened by a local resident as a free house has been named North Beds Pub of the Year.
Having been closed by its previous owners The Sun in Felmersham was registered as an Asset of Community Value and reopened in 2013 and last year the North Bedfordshire Branch of CAMRA named it the Most Improved Pub in its area.
This year the pub has scooped the top award from the branch and is their Pub of the Year. Since being bought by a local resident the attractive thatched pub has been thoroughly refurbished and is a much appreciated feature of the North Bedfordshire village.
As a Free House it is not tied to any particular brewery for what it sells. Pump clips around the walls of the welcoming bar show some of the beers that have been sold since reopening, and the emphasis is always on good quality beer in good condition.
Roger Stokes, Branch Chair, said: “It is no wonder that it is a popular place for people to meet and chat.
“I am delighted with what Ben and Hannah Just have achieved in a relatively short time. This goes to show what is possible with dedicated licensees and community support.”
The Sun will now be judged against the pubs nominated by the South and East Bedfordshire branches of CAMRA for the title of All Bedfordshire Pub of the Year.
Just a year after new tenant Alan Kelly brought in Beverley Burridge to manage the Three Cups in Newnham Street, Bedford, it has been named Town Pub of the Year. Although it is a Greene King pub it is one of their Local Hero pubs, committed to showcasing beer from local breweries. Alan is the proprietor of the White Park brewery in Cranfield so those beers are regularly found among the five guest ales.
Given eight beers in top-rate condition it is perhaps as well that the pub offers taster thirds – three thirds of different beers for the price of a pint. The new tenant has also introduced a new lunchtime menu of locally sourced home-cooked food where the wood panelling helps retain the original character of this 18th century inn.
The Castle, also on Newnham Street, has recently been refurbished, making the smaller bar much lighter and more attractive, and has been named as Most Improved Pub.
As well as lunchtime and evening meals (not weekends) a guest house behind the pub offers en-suite bedrooms.
Convenient for both Peacock’s Auction House and the Bedford Blues ground on Goldington Road the pub offers town centre accommodation with some character, as well as the chance to glance over the books in their small library.