Gunwharf’s Old Customs House named ‘pub of the year’

The Old Customs House in Gunwharf Quays
  • Seafront pub wins top prize
  • Old Customs House bags two prizes at company awards

AN HISTORIC seafront establishment has been crowned ‘pub of the year’.

The Old Customs House at Gunwharf Quays has bagged the top prize in pub company Fuller’s annual competition.

Fuller's chairman Michael Turner presents manager Marc Duvauchelle with The Griffin Trophy

It won The Griffin Trophy ahead of 400 other competitors.

The pub was named the overall winner due to its ‘exceptional standards’ throughout all areas of the business which made it stand out from the competition.

Marc Duvauchelle, the pub’s manager, said: ‘This is a fantastic surprise. A pub is nothing without its people so I would like to thank all my customers who have supported the pub and my wonderful staff, who make the pub what it is.’

An extensive selection process took place to find the winner, with all nine contenders visited by Fuller’s chairman Michael Turner, chief executive Simon Emeny and corporate affairs director Richard Fuller.

This is a fantastic surprise. A pub is nothing without its people so I would like to thank all my customers who have supported the pub and my wonderful staff, who make the pub what it is.

Marc Duvauchelle, manger of The Old Customs House

It scooped the prize at an awards ceremony held in the boardroom of the company’s Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, West London.

In addition to bagging the top prize, the pub also took home first prize in the Best Town/Local Pub category, making it a double delight.

Mr Turner said: ‘I am delighted to be presenting the Griffin Trophy to Marc and the team at The Old Customs House.

‘It is an incredible site – formerly part of HMS Vernon, a shore establishment for the Royal Navy’s torpedo branch since 1876 – but now a multi-floor pub with 13 different areas for customers to enjoy.

‘This makes it a very complex site to manage and it is to Marc’s credit that he uses this space with amazing results. Delivering delicious, freshly-cooked seasonal dishes from the kitchen and a vibrant range of drinks to an ever-growing number of customers.

‘Marc is an aspirational role model for other Fuller’s managers.’

He added: ‘The Old Customs House caters for the many visitors to Gunwharf Quays – from millennials to pensioners.

‘Marc and his team have a keen focus on delighting them all, which is reflected in his team’s 100 per cent mystery customer score.

‘It is fantastic to see such an iconic pub, in an area of intense competitive activity, doing so well and I look forward to seeing Marc develop the business even further.’

The pub is popular with Gunwharf residents, with their reviews earning it a Certificate of Excellence from review site TripAdvisor.

The awards picked five winners across five respective categories.

The Old Customs House beat Farnham’s The Queens Head in the Best Town category with South Kensington’s The Hereford Arms scooping Best London Pub and Cobham’s Old Plough winning Best Village Pub.

In the category for Best Hotel, Bridport’s Bull Hotel was named the winner.

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