A COUNTRY inn in Rutland that came close to closure 10 years ago has been named Britain’s top pub by Eat Out magazine.
The Olive Branch at Clipsham, came first in the list of Britain’s top 100 pubs, which is based on regional guides, awards and listings.
The freehold for the pub was bought back in 1997 by two men, Ben Jones and Sean Hope, who are from the local community and managed to raise £240,000 for the purchase.
Michelin awarded the pub a star in 2002, making it one of the first such establishments to receive the accolade.
2008 has seen The Olive Branch also named Michelin Pub of the Year and the Good Pub Guide Inn of the Year.
Front of house manager Jones, said: “We set out to be the best pub, not a Michelin house or a restaurant in a pub but just a warm and friendly place where customers can be sure of getting the best food from local suppliers, quality ales and fine wines.”
In the winter the pub roasts chestnuts on the open fires and serves its own sloe gin. In the summer there’s home-made lemonade and barbecues in the garden.