The Blue Anchor on Beacon Road in Crowborough has been named “Pub of the Year” for the second year running at the Beautiful South Awards.
Landlady Amy Glenie, who has been at the helm for four years, said it was totally unexpected to have received the honour for a second year.
It is amazing and just so unexpected – especially because it is the second year in a row. It was just such a big surprise.
With everything that has been going on, it’s so good for the team to be rewarded like this. It brings everybody together after a couple of really tough years.Amy Glenie
The awards evening was attended by Amy and her husband, as well as her mum Nicola, who is a chef, and her management team.
My mum helped me so much when I started out, helping in the kitchen, so it felt fitting she should come. It was a lot of work to get us to where we are but it was a team effort and now I have a brilliant and stable team in place.
And in the area where we are, we have such lovely customers who are so supportive.Amy Glenie
The “Pub of the Year” award recognises pubs that make a significant contribution to tourism in their area, with a food and drink offering that includes quality locally sourced produce.
The Shepherd Neame pub was once a haunt for smugglers and poachers in the 18th century – and prides itself on fine, freshly-made food using locally-sourced produce where possible and also has a spacious garden and patio.
This year’s trophy is now in pride of place in the pub’s entrance, along with last year’s award, so that customers can see them as they arrive.
The awards are organised by Tourism South East / Visit Britain. They recognise the cream of the tourism industry with awards for visitor attractions, accommodation providers and hospitality venues. Tourism South East is a not-for-profit organisation supporting tourism businesses and destinations across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Surrey, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and Kent.
More than 200 businesses enjoyed an evening of celebration at the Brighton Centre with 21 collecting Gold Awards. There are categories for different types and sizes; with awards also for accessibility and inclusiveness, dog friendly businesses and one which recognises commitment to being sustainable, responsible and how ethical they operate.
Chief Executive of Tourism South East, Fran Downton, said:
Congratulations to all our finalists. Achieving excellence is not easy, particularly in these past years. The strength of our winners is testament to the incredible standards and unwavering quality of these exceptional businesses, despite the challenges. I was blown away by the quality, positivity, and innovation of the tourism businesses we have across the South East.Chief Executive of Tourism South East
Judging is carried out by an independent panel of past winners, industry leaders and experts in their field, selected for their impartiality, experience and suitability for each category. Entry is open to members and non-members of Tourism South East.
Judges start by looking at nominated business’s websites, their social media platforms and review sites. They check-out how they encourage visitors to come to the area and how they are inspired to choose their business. There are four questions on the entry form and each is scored by the judges:
- Top qualities
- Recent improvements
- Results, and
- Future plans.
Selected businesses are visitied by a mystery shopper.
Sussex Boat Trips based in Seaford, won the “New Business” award. They provide RIB rides along the East Sussex coastline. The Gallivant in Camber won four Golds, including “Business Venue of the Year” and “Wedding Venue of the Year”. Hever Castle was given an award for their Christmas experience. Stubcroft Farm Campsite in West Sussex received two Golds and a Silver, including “Campsite of the Year”. Robert Hill-Snook, Manager of Royal Pavilion Garden in Brighton won the “Unsung Hero” Gold Award. Visit Eastbourne was awarded “Visitor Information Service of the Year”.
Click for a list of all the winners this year Beautiful South Awards.