Pub is The Hub shows support for Norfolk publicans with business awards sponsorship

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Two Norfolk pubs have been recognised for their business success and support of their local community in a new ‘Pub of The Year’ category at the Broadland and South Norfolk Business Awards 2023.

Awards night at Norwich City FC’s ground Pic: ©Simon Finlay Photography.

The winning pub for Broadland was The Recruiting Sergeant at Horstead and taking the South Norfolk title was The Fox and Hounds in Great Moulton.

Terry Stork, Pub is The Hub’s regional advisor for East Anglia and Lincolnshire, presented the awards, which were sponsored by Pub is The Hub, to Ali Holman leaseholder of The Fox & Hounds along with the pub’s chef Alex Wolf and front of house manager Lauren (pictured below). The Recruiting Sergeant’s trophy was presented to publican Nicola Colchester and son George (main pic) at the prestigious awards ceremony hosted at Norwich City’s football ground.

Pubs were initially nominated for the award by members of the public, with shortlisted finalists judged by a panel of experts.

Winning ways

The Fox & Hounds is a pub that is the hub of its village and accessible to all, including families and four-legged friends. Its offer includes a cosy bar, locally sourced food and drink, a childrens’ play area, four timber dining pods in its garden and a marquee with its own car park and purpose-built bar for events, including weddings and parties. The pub’s team also show great support of local groups and organisations, including a knitting and crochet club and hosting tractor club meetings and fundraising nights.

    South Norfolk Pub of The Year 2023         Pic: ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Terry Stork, who was also one of the award judges, said: “The Fox & Hounds is a wonderful rural pub that oozes atmosphere and is really accessible to all ages. It is at the heart of its community and has so much on offer to local people.”

The other finalists for South Norfolk Pub of The Year 2023 were The Sugar Beet in Swainsthorpe, run by publican Stevie King and The Wheel of Fortune in Alpington run by publican Naomi Shulver.

Community focus helps steal a march

The Recruiting Sergeant, winner of Broadland Pub of The Year 2023, is also a family and dog friendly pub, with a restaurant and five B&B rooms. Publicans Nicola and Matthew Colchester have been at the helm of The Recruiting Sergeant for over 30 years. It is the flagship pub of Colchester Inns and serves great food with a warm welcome.

Broadland Pub of The Year 2023 Pic: ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Pub is The Hub’s Terry said: “Publicans Nicola and Matthew have excellent involvement in their local community and The Recruiting Sergeant is a shining example of how a local pub should be.”

Colchester Inns has four other pubs, including Salhouse Lodge in Salhouse, which it has recently taken over and is due to open in April.

Wonderful local businesses

South Norfolk Council Cabinet member Lisa Neal said: “It’s wonderful to see so many local businesses thriving in our districts and I know that the judges had a really hard job getting the shortlists down to just three per category.”

She added: “Obviously there can only be one winner, but everyone at the event should be proud of what they have achieved. It’s their hard work that goes into making South Norfolk such a special place.”

 2023 winners: Pic ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Fantastic finalists

Other finalists for Broadland Pub of The Year 2023 were the family-run Acle Bridge Inn at Acle, whose publicans Vanessa and Phil Hannon have been at the helm for over 17 years, and The Shoulder of Mutton at Strumpshaw, whose publicans Bob and Dani Cameron took part in a creative residency during the Covid-19 lockdowns with live performance organisation INN CROWD, whose work Pub is The Hub help support. Enjoy it here: Mary Hargreaves: A Very Important Party – Inn Crowd

PiTH’s Terry adds: “Pub is The Hub were delighted to support these great awards, which help recognise the wonderful work of great publicans whose businesses are at the heart of their local community.”

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