A ‘vibrant and imaginative’ 17th-century inn in West Sussex run by a former art teacher, it has been hailed as the best pub in Britain.
The Gun Inn in the village of Findon, 15 minutes from the coast, was named the Great British Pub of the Year 2022 at an event in Manchester hosted by comedian Russell Kane.
Owner Sally Harris has clearly elevated pub running to an art form, with judges declaring that ‘even the most seasoned pub-goer will find something different and exciting at The Gun Inn’.
The Gun Inn (above) in the village of Findon was named the Great British Pub of the Year 2022
They continued: ‘Harris and her team have given this pub a quirky, modern twist without compromising on its historic character. Harris has added her own unique touches to the decor, which extend into the picturesque garden, while staff are encouraged to contribute their ideas to a busy calendar of events that includes themed dinner nights, the pub’s own music festival and doggy dress up contests. Plus, there’s a full range of Ringwood ales at the bar and an imaginative, freshly cooked European menu with a flavoursome punch.
‘The food is excellent, the interior has tables of various sizes to add to the unusual appeal, a traditional roof is decorated with wooden beams and [there’s] an open fire that exudes what a true British pub is all about.
‘Meanwhile, it has two private dining rooms at the rear leading out to an amazing garden with a covered area where those seeking refreshment are welcome while enjoying some fresh air.’
The Saddle Inn (above), Chester, won Best Pub for Entertainment gong
Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, which manages the awards, said: ‘Sally’s approach to creating a modern, vibrant and imaginative community cafe has really set itself apart and it’s fantastic to see fresh and quirky ideas in the trade. come. This competition is particularly tough, with great operators from all over the UK vying for the top spot. Sally has done a fantastic job in a relatively short time and she and her team can be proud of the success.’
Of the 16 category winners, all judges come together to arrive at an overall winner. This site “should be the epitome of the British pub and be able to take advantage of the opportunity presented to be a voice for the industry,” a statement said.
Category winners were Strait and Narrow in Lincoln – Best Urban Pub; The Three Hills, Bartlow, Cambridgeshire – Best Country Pub; The Saddle Inn, Chester, Cheshire – Best Pub for Entertainment; Famous Three Kings, Fulham, London – Best pub for watching sports; The Lion in Treorchy, Wales – Community Hero; and Tamworth Tap, Tamworth, Staffordshire – Best pub garden.
THE WINNERS OF THE GREAT BRITISH PUB AWARDS 2022
The Dartford Sports BarDartford – Admiral Pub of the Year
Street and narrowLincoln, Lincolnshire – Best City/Urban Pub or Bar
The Three HillsBartlow, Cambridgeshire – Best Country/Country Pub
the bellflowerGarstang, Lancashire – Best Pub for Dogs
The Saddle InnChester, Cheshire – Best Pub for Entertainment
Ye Olde Bridge InnOxton, Nottinghamshire – Best Pub for Families
The Shibden MillHalifax, West Yorkshire – Best Pub for Food
Tamworth TapTamworth, Staffordshire – Best Pub Garden
The Famous Three KingsFulham, London – Best pub to watch sports
The riverbank at AymestreyHerefordshire – Best Sustainable Pub
The Lion in TreorchyWales – Community Hero
The green oakWindsor, Berkshire – Greene King Pub of the Year
The Gun InnFindon, West Sussex – Marston’s Pub of the Year
The red lionGuildford, Surrey – Punch Pub of the Year
The red lionShepperton, Surrey – Star Pub of the Year
The old windmillCoventry, West Midlands – Stonegate Pub of the Year
The Gun InnFindon, West Sussex – Great British Pub of the Year
Game on: Famous Three Kings in Fulham, London, is the best pub of 2022 for watching sports
Strait and Narrow (above) in Lincoln named Best City/Urban Pub or Bar
Bedington added: ‘This isn’t about Michelin stars or spit and sawdust boozers. These awards recognize vibrant, outstanding companies from every spectrum of the industry that are at the heart of the communities they serve.
‘We want to show the spotlight how much pubs are doing for the local areas and how many of us had our first jobs in a pub where we learned important skills? These locations also provide a place for otherwise lonely people to have company and how many grassroots sports teams are supported and hosted at their local?
“Pubs haven’t had it easy in recent years and it doesn’t look like it will get any easier in the short term, but despite this, we still see great companies doing so much for so many and being a beacon of hospitality and inclusivity in these uncertain times.”
Previous winner Heath Ball, owner of the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London, said: ‘Winning these awards in 2018 was groundbreaking. We had a 50 percent growth in people through the doors in the next three months and massive media coverage. The judging process was very robust and time consuming due to the written submission and the site visit by a judge, but it was all worth it.’
Ye Olde Bridge Inn, Oxton, Nottinghamshire, voted best pub for families