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A popular Shepherd Neame licensee and an innovative river-front pub have made a prestigious industry awards shortlist.
Chris Maclean of the Railway Hotel in Faversham has been nominated in the Publican of the Year category, while the Grove Ferry Inn at Upstreet, near Canterbury features in the Tenanted Pub of the Year category of The Publican Awards 2011.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London on April 6.
Chris Maclean’s 20-year involvement in the industry and his championing of pubs through his popular blogs are just some of the reasons for his nomination. He said: “It is very good news. I have been in the trade for 20 years and perhaps now is my time.”
The nomination could one of the last for busy Chris who is training to become a Church of England priest. Within three years, he could be ministering to his own parish – though his assertions of the positive effects on a well-run pub on the local community could continue to feature in his views. He said: “This industry has been part of me for 20 years and I have a compelling urge to make sure that it has a good profile.”
Anthony Pender, licensee at the Grove Ferry Inn, thinks his pub’s innovations may have played its part in the nomination for Tenanted Pub of the Year. He said: “We think outside of the box. For instance, we have the Butcher’s Block deli counter where customers can order meat and buy vegetables, jams, chutneys and cheeses.
“We also run river trips with our eco-friendly boat and we are in the process of setting up a tourist information point as we had a vacant space in an outbuilding.”
Publican editor Caroline Nodder said: “There are some truly great pubs and pub companies which are leading the way not only for our sector but for British retail as a whole, and far from being disheartened by the financial climate, these operators have risen to the challenge and are giving their customers their best pub experience.”