The Red Lion at Preston, received the 2012 Pub of the Year award on Friday 22 June. The award was presented by Chairman Brian Mason to a packed pub, with many CAMRA members, locals and quite a few visitors.
Ray and Jo have been there for three years having come from another pub in the area. The pub is well known for its home cooked food and a good range of beers, which are always in a very good condition. Ray & Jo met in the White Horse on Fulham Broadway, but unfortunately this pub has long been closed. Prior to being in the pub trade, Ray was a School teacher who taught English at a Secondary School, whilst Jo was a pastry chef, hence good food and a legible menu board.
The Red Lion became the first community pub in the UK after the Whitbread Brewery announced that it was up for sale as a restaurant. The village bought the pub and over the years it has gone from strength to strength and has appeared in the GBG many, many times. This is the fourth time since 2000 it has won the award.
Another claim to fame is that the pub featured in an episode of ‘Foyle’s War’ when it was run by previous incumbents and winners Tim & Jane Hunter.
The Red Lion is a classic example of a how a pub that was to have been closed and sold on by one of the big nationals, can be turned around and be successful
If landlords serve Real Ale and good food, people will come and enjoy themselves.
Words: Brian Mason