Family pub scoops CAMRA’s top award

A pub that has been in the same family for 250 years has awarded the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Pub of the Year accolade.

The Bell Inn in Aldworth, which is owned and managed by Hugh Macaulay, scooped the top prize after judges praised its beer selection, relaxed atmosphere, and its community focus.

The pub, in Berkshire, boasts a Grade II-listed interior and features such delights as ebony draught pumps, fitted by Macaulay’s great-grandmother in 1902.

CAMRA’s Pub of the Year organiser Ben Wilkinson said: “The judges were impressed with how a stranger entering the pub was treated like a regular straight away.

2It’s clear that the local customers use the pub as a community centre as well as a place to drink, and the warm welcome and knowledgeable staff made us feel right at home. Nothing can beat the combination of good beer, great food and warm heritage pub.”

Owner and manager Hugh Macaulay said: “The Bell Inn has been in my family for 250 years and my mother and father were running it when we last won the award.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be recognised for driving quality year after year. Not much has changed because we have kept our interior unspoilt all this time, and intend to keep it that way for years to come.”

The Bell first won the CAMRA prize 30 years ago.

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