The Olive Branch, Clipsham named The Good Pub Guide's Pub of the Year 2014

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Good pub guide, Public house

The Good Pub Guide's editors said standards were improving all the time in pubs after voting The Olive Branch in Clipsham their Pub of the Year
The Good Pub Guide's editors said standards were improving all the time in pubs after voting The Olive Branch in Clipsham their Pub of the Year
The Olive Branch in Clipsham has been named The Good Pub Guide's 2014 Pub of the Year for its quality service and 'sublime food'. 

The pub in the small county of Rutland, run by friends Sean Hope and Ben Jones of Olive Inns since 1999, was Michelin's Pub of the Year in 2008 and was dubbed 'a first class all-rounder' by the guide, which this year features 163 new pubs in its Main Entries section. 

Stapley, joint editor of the Good Pub Guide, said: "As our Pub of the Year 2014, The Olive Branch in Clipsham is a very special place and a first class all-rounder.

"It's civilised, but warm and friendly, has a carefully chosen range of drinks, offers exceptional food and lovely bedrooms. As one of our readers aptly says it's 'the ultimate pub experience'. You can't get better than that."

Olive Branch co-owner Jones, said receiving the award was 'brilliant news', crediting the hard work of the pub's team for the accolade. 

"We all have a passion for the produce we serve, from the real ale through to the food," he said, "and we all have a passion for serving our customers to the best of our abilities."

Other pubs and individuals picking up one of 15 national awards this year, were The Stagg at Titley, Herefordshire, which was voted Dining Pub of the Year, the Bulls Head at Mottram St Andrew in Cheshire, voted New Pub of the Year and Tim Gray of the Yew Tree, Lower Wield in Hampshire, winner of the Landlord of the Year title. 

Brewery and pub owner Fuller's was also named Brewery of the Year while the four-strong Salisbury Pubs was voted Pub Group of the Year. 


Improving standards

Editors of the guide, who inspect pubs recommended by its 2,000 correspondents, said poor service was still an issue in some pubs and 'the number one reason for writing off a pub'.

However, they also said standards were improving all the time with landlords and landladies who motivated and inspired staff being 'the driving force' behind improving standards. 

They also suggested more pubs should name their chefs to 'close the absurd status gap' between celebrity chefs and talented pub chefs, many of whom have built strong links with local suppliers to source top quality produce or were even growing and rearing their own produce. 

"You can't beat a meal out at a great food pub," said Stapley, "Increasingly we are seeing imaginative meals from creative chefs produced at prices customers feel are fair for the quality.” 

The Good Pub Guide, published by Ebury Press, features more than 4,700 pubs. Organised county by county each section highlights Main Entries that have been fully inspected and carefully selected to warrant their place. These are followed by a number of shorter Worth a Visit descriptions where outstanding pubs are marked. 

The Good Pub Guide 2014 National Award Winners:

  • Pub of the Year - Olive Branch, Clipsham, Rutland
  • Landlord of the Year - Tim Gray, Yew Tree, Lower Wield, Hampshire
  • Dining Pub of the Year - Stagg, Titley, Herefordshire
  • New Pub of the Year - Bulls Head, Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire
  • Own Brew Pub of the Year - Grainstore, Oakham, Rutland
  • Beer Pub of the Year - Tom Cobley, Spreyton, Devon
  • Whisky Pub of the Year - Bon Accord, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Wine Pub of the Year - Woods, Dulverton, Somerset
  • Unspoilt Pub of the Year - White Horse, Petersfield, Hampshire
  • Town Pub of the Year - Park, Bedford, Bedfordshire
  • Country Pub of the Year - Malet Arms, Newton Tony, Wiltshire
  • Inn of the Year - Blue Lion, East Witton, Yorkshire
  • Value Pub of the Year - Red Lion, Preston, Hertfordshire
  • Brewery of the Year - Fuller, Smith & Turner
  • Pub Group of the Year - Salisbury Pubs, Frithsden, Hertfordshire


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