Two of Ruddington’s seven pubs were celebrating at the end of July when they made it through to the finals of the Great British Pub Awards. This means that The Victoria Tavern on Wilford Road and The White Horse on Church Street are thought to be amongst the best 90 pubs in the whole of the UK – no mean achievement!
The Tavern has been nominated for the Best Partnership Pub Award, which recognises pubs that are leased and tenanted, whilst The White Horse is hoping to triumph in the Best Family Pub category.
As anyone who lives in Ruddington, or visits regularly, will know, the village pub scene has seen something of a spectacular revival over the last few years. Not so long ago, a couple of the pubs were struggling, with frequent management changes leading to closed periods, and a lack of custom as drinkers headed into West Bridgford or the city centre.
These days, things have changed hugely for the better. All seven of our pubs now enjoy a busy trade, with a variety of atmospheres, drinks and food ensuring there’s something for everyone. So what’s the secret of success for Ruddington’s pub scene?
Speaking to The Nottingham Post, The Victoria Tavern’s landlady, Lindsey Flint, stated that it’s all down to the quality of the beer. ‘If you don’t look after your cellar, people won’t come into your pub.’ For The Tavern, an adult drinking environment also holds the key to success. ‘No children and no meals, although we do a wide range of cobs: it’s either ham salad or cheese and onion! And in the winter we do mushy peas.’
Peckish punters won’t have far to go if they fancy something more substantial, however. Fellow Great British Pub finalists, The White Horse, have grown a strong reputation for serving excellent food in the three years since its takeover by Andy Hunt and Abbie Clifton, AKA The A&A Pub Company. It’s also a family-friendly venue, so kids are welcome.
‘We’re delighted with how well The White Horse has taken off, says Andy. ‘My team works very hard to produce a fantastic food menu based around pub classics with a sophisticated gastro twist. Our food and drink events – like the Wine & Tapas evening on 10 September – are proving very popular, too. In fact, we’ve enjoyed so much success here in Ruddington that we’re opening a second pub in October: The Gedling Inn & Kitchen.’
The Great British Pub Awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London on Wednesday 5 October. Good luck to The Victoria Tavern and The White Horse – we’ll let you how they fared in the November issue of the newsletter.