Top Westcountry inns celebrate glowing achievements in Good Pub Guide
Licensees are celebrating today after being picked out in the new edition of The Good Pub Guide.
The Church House Inn at Marldon, South Devon, has been named the county's Dining Pub of the Year in the guide, which is published today.
According to the 2013 guide, it is a "bustling" pub "neatly kept and run by a friendly landlord and his helpful staff".
The Church House Inn is run by Julian Cook and Caroline Aisher, who said: "We think that this is a fantastic reward to all of our hard working staff, most of whom have been with us since we bought the pub in 1999."
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In Cornwall, according to the guide, the Dining Pub of the Year award goes to the Old Coastguard Hotel in Mousehole.
"With a delightful garden that leads down to rock pools... this inn has been carefully refurbished by the owners, with a civilised, friendly atmosphere, character furnishings, and good choice of wines and first rate food; alongside bedrooms with sea views," says the guide.
The honour is even bigger for Peter and Angela Gatling of the Merry Harriers, Clayhidon, Devon. They have been named Licensees of the Year.
The Good Pub Guide says: "Peter and Angela Gatling are the absolute aristocrats of the pub world, showing extra-special commitment and care for both their pubs and their customers – and it shows.
"Always deservedly busy, this is a particularly well run and friendly pub and our readers love it. The hands-on, hard-working licensees and their staff will always make you welcome – even when rushed off their feet."
It is the third year in a row the Merry Harriers has been included in the guide.
They were awarded Devon Dining Pub of the year, in both 2011 and 2012.
Mr Gatling, said: "We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to be recognised in this way. We work on the philosophy of giving everybody a warm welcome and making them feel relaxed."
Mrs Gatling added: "It is important never to forget the reason why you are winning these awards.
"You mustn't start to get too big for your boots." Winning the National Wine Pub of the Year title for the third year running, is Woods, in Dulverton, Somerset.
Run by Patrick Groves, it is described as "smartly informal with exceptional wines, real ales, first-rate food and a good mix of customers this is an amazing pub for the wine lover".
Brewery of the Year went to Devon's multi-award-winning Otter Brewery.
"With a well-balanced range of several varieties, all brewed using water from their own spring, the Otter Brewery is now one of the Westcountry's most successful breweries," said the Guide.