Tap brimming with joy as it’s crowned your pub of the year

Julie Johnson, landlady of The Tap in London Road, North End, which has won Pub of the Year 2015 ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151990-6009)
Julie Johnson, landlady of The Tap in London Road, North End, which has won Pub of the Year 2015 ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151990-6009)

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IT’s a pub known for delicious roast dinners and superb live music.

So it’s no wonder The Tap, in London Road, North End, has scooped The News pub of the year award.

And delighted landlady Julie Johnson, who has been at the helm of the local since 2008, puts down her success to lots of hard work and the fierce loyalty shown by her locals who voted for her.

After being presented with a glass trophy, the 41-year-old admitted it was the perfect ending to what has been a rocky year.

But it comes on the back of the pub being crowned the best pub to enjoy a roast dinner in a separate competition.

Speaking to The News about her win, Julie said: ‘I don’t think it’s hit me yet; I was quite ill over Christmas last year and the beginning of New Year until February.

‘But then we won a best roast dinner competition, and to now be pub of the year, it’s just a massive, massive achievement for me.

‘It goes to show people really appreciate the hard work you do.’

Julie says she’s worked flat out to turn around the pub’s fortunes. Asked what draws customers in, Julie said: ‘The food side of it, definitely, and the live music.

‘It’s also the warmth and atmosphere.

‘People say when they walk in that they feel so comfortable. There’s always someone to talk to.

‘I think we have got things spot-on here; there’s live music three times a week and karaoke, we have darts during the week and we have Sky Sports. Our roasts are freshly cooked to order.’

The pub fended off competition from nine other pubs in a short list pulled together after votes opened for a huge selection of venues across the region.

We asked readers to make their vote based on a pub’s individuality and character, welcoming ambience, quality of beer wines and food and staff.

Coming in second place was The Golden Lion, in High Street, Southwick.

Those remaining on the shortlist were; The Fawcett Inn, Fawcett Road, Southsea; The Golden Lion, High Street, Fareham; The Lifeboat Inn, Seafront, Hayling Island; The Fountain, London Road, North End; The Wellington, High Street, Old Portsmouth; The Red White and Blue, Fawcett Road, Southsea; The Carisbrooke Arms, Carisbrooke Road, Gosport; Thatchers, London Road, North End.