Village inn wins South Norfolk pub of the year
Adam Gretton A couple who brought good food and friendly faces to a village pub are celebrating after being crowned the best in south Norfolk after only 18 months at the helm.
A couple who brought good food and friendly faces to a village pub are celebrating after being crowned the best in south Norfolk after only 18 months at the helm.
The Wortwell Bell was praised for its welcoming atmosphere yesterday after winning South Norfolk Council's second community pub of the year award.
The landlords of the village inn spoke of their delight following the announcement after more than 3,000 votes were cast by punters across the district for their favourite public house.
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The prize for the 17th century pub comes 18 months after Stuart Cox and his fianc� Cathryn Rockey made their first move into the industry.
The couple, who have two children, and have previously worked together at Delia Smith's Canary Catering at Norwich City Football Club and St Peter's Hall, near Bungay, said they were “thrilled” with the community pub award.
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Organisers of the awards said the bar had been raised this year and the Wortwell Bell had the “wow factor” with its “fantastic” atmosphere, homemade food and choice of beers.
The landlords, who have brought stability to the Enterprise Inns-owned building, were also praised for getting involved in the community by supporting the first Wortwell village fete in 17 years earlier this year.
Mr Cox, who runs the bar while his partner runs the kitchen, said local support was crucial to their success. He added that they had ditched music and a pool table in favour of pub chat.
“We are a pub that does good food and good beer and that is what we believe a pub should be. We have never tried to alienate anyone.”
“The locals have befriended us as soon as we got in. It is their pub and we just work there and run it. We have tried to make it as friendly as possible and for a period of the day it is like their front room where they meet friends and have a laugh,” he said.
Voting opened on more than 100 pubs in south Norfolk in June. The pub of the year prize includes �1,000 for a community event or project.
The four runners-up and neighbourhood winners were the Marlingford Bell, the Green Dragon, in Wymondham, the New Inn at Rockland St Mary and the Queen's Head, in Long Stratton.