MYSTERY shoppers have given a vote of confidence to the new landlords of a popular Charvil pub.
The team behind The Heron on the Ford – which replaced The Land’s End last year – have been awarded Best Newcomers in the Brakspear Hospitality Award 2019.
And Jayne Worrall, the landlady of The Bull in Wargrave, has been recognised for her Sunday Roast.
They were just two of the categories in the awards, which were given out at a special ceremony held at The Little Angel in Remenham.
Each of the winning landlords and landladies were presented with a plaque and a prize of £500 – which Brakspear is doubling to £1,000 if they spend it on refurbishing their pub.
They were shortlisted after a rigorous judging process, which reviewed sales growth, mystery customer scores and Tripadvisor reports. Independent judges were involved in a number of categories.
The winning pubs locally were:
- Best Newcomers: Adam & Niki Fortes and Colin Savory, Heron on the Ford, Charvil, Reading.
- Best Kept Cellar: Claire & Mick Sugg, Hare & Hounds, Sonning Common
- Best Garden: Dan Redfern, Cherry Tree, Stoke Row
- Best Sunday Roast: Jayne Worrall, Bull, Wargrave
- Best Fundraiser: Rachel Selman at the Unicorn, Kingwood, which raised £2010 for Mind, Brakspear’s preferred charity for 2018/19.
- Best Customer Service: a new award this year, presented to Nicola Hickey at the Six Bells, Warborough
Two other awards were made: Best All-Rounder to the Connaught in Hove and Best Bar-Focused to Clayton’s in Marlow.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “Every year, the awards shortlist reminds us of the talented landlords and landladies we are lucky enough to have running pubs with us. Choosing this year’s winners was far from easy and they should all be proud of their achievement.”
Niki & Adam Fortes, who run the Heron on the Ford with Colin Savory, were delighted with their victory.
They said: “We’re so pleased to have won this award. We’ve been at the Heron on the Ford for just over a year and we’ve made it an inclusive pub, welcoming children and dogs. We’ve got great plans to extend the pub and today’s prize will help towards that.”
And Ms Worrall has been patient to receive her win.
She said: “I’ve been a runner-up in the Hospitality Awards before but this is my first win in 16 years with Brakspear and I’m thrilled with it.
“I’m not a chef, so the Sunday lunches in The Bull aren’t elaborate, just the kind of home cooking I learned from my Mum.
“We serve around 70 roast dinners every Sunday now and generally we’re booked up – so we must be doing something right.”