A Sussex village pub has been crowned British Pub of the Year 2016.
The accolade has been bestowed on The Bull in Ditchling at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.
Pub owner Dominic Worrall said: “I am totally overwhelmed. Words cannot express how extremely proud I am and this is an enormous accolade to the outstanding efforts from Molly our GM and her dedicated team. That combined with the amazing loyalty of the customers who support us, make The Bull the incredibly unique pub it is today.”
Aside from “offering a genuinely high level of service, attention to detail and a genuine care for what we do in serving our wonderful community and loyal customers”, Dominic says he finds one of the most rewarding parts of running The Bull is “creating real jobs for local people and generating income for local producers and businesses.
“We always make a point of sourcing the best produce we can find and we love working with other brilliant Sussex producers and suppliers such as Ridgeview Estate and Blackdown Spirits through to the short range boats out of Shoreham harbour and remarkable local farms like ‘Trenchmore’, based in Cowfold. We are blessed too with true dedication from locals such as our gardener, Alan, who gives us the chance to serve homegrown produce in the pub.”
Plans are now being drawn up for a major expansion to convert derelict barns at the pub into additional letting accommodation, along with a new kitchen and further dining space.
Dominic added: “Thirteen years ago I made a promise to deliver the best pub in Sussex – little did I think we’d be the best pub in the UK.
“It’s extraordinary, we put our heart and soul into everything we do and I’ve got a great team.”