The Duke of Portland reaches finals of industry ‘Oscars’
Times may be tough for the UK’s pub trade, but the Duke of Portland in Lach Dennis near Knutsford, has cause for celebration this week after being named Best Gastropub in the Northwest in the Great British Pub Awards, putting it amongst the top 8 in the UK and a in with a chance of winning the national title in a glittering Awards ceremony to be held at the London Hilton next month.
The Mooney family already have much to be proud of. Owners for 30 years of the fêted Belle Époque in Knutsford, they adopted ‘The Duke’ five years ago, and are well accustomed to titles and awards. However, the Great British Pub Awards, run by drinks industry ‘bible’ the Morning Advertiser, are the ultimate accolade in pub retailing and competition for a finals placing is intense. Following a ‘paper’ judging and a visit from an industry expert, the Duke is now officially best in the area – offering fresh, locally sourced food and a superb range of ales and fine wines served up in a relaxed atmosphere and a beautiful setting.
Paul Charity, editor of the Morning Advertiser, said, “It is heartening to find such a wonderful local success story when there has been little good news about pubs recently. This is proof that customers still value quality and good service and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Great British Pub. The Mooneys deserve this public recognition of their achievement.”
Matthew Mooney added: “This prestigious award shows that we are getting it right! And that, within a pub environment, it is possible to serve high quality local produce and happily offer a quality range of cask ales alongside fine wines. This is our reward for staying true to our values and a fitting prize for the staff at the Duke who work so hard to uphold our standards of customer service. Even in today’s climate, quality and integrity still count.”
The judges were impressed with the Duke of Portland’s dedication to excellence, commenting, “The menu is a great example of everything a gastropub should offer. It is to the Mooney’s credit that they have achieved this, and created an excellent reputation for their food.”
With their 5th birthday imminent, the Duke is undergoing a refurbishment programme both inside and out, including the creation of an alfresco eating and drinking area offering uninterrupted views of the Cheshire countryside. The Best Gastropub category is sponsored by Czech brewers Budweiser Budvar, who are at the forefront of matching food with beer – a concept that is becoming ever more popular in pubs throughout the UK.
About the awards.
The Great British Pub Awards are recognised as the most prestigious in the pub industry and attract hundreds of entries from pubs throughout England and Wales. Pubs compete in 13 categories, divided into eight regions, and a finalist is selected for each. The national winners are announced at an Awards evening staged at a top London hotel, in front of an audience of other finalists and industry guests. For more information, visit http://www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk/
Photo Suppled by Len Thompson – Knutsford Business News