Gosport pub The White Horse in the finals in the Great British Pub Awards 2021

A PUB in Gosport has made it through to the finals in the Pub of the Year Awards 2021 – and its landlord is storming through a licensee of the year award.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:06 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:08 am

Zac Toms-Pearce, the landlord of The White Horse in Nobes Avenue, said he and his team were chuffed to be recognised with their progress in two national awards.

The pub has beaten more than 1,000 other boozers to reach the final in the Admiral Taverns Pub of the Year category in the Great British Pub Awards 2021.

And Zac and his team have made it through to the quarter finals of the Licensee of the Year Award from the British Institute of Innkeeping.

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Landlord Zac Toms-Pearce at the White Horse, Gosport. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Reacting to the pub’s place in the pub of the year competition, the 33-year-old said: ‘It’s a massive, massive achievement to get into the final six. And a lot of the other pubs are up north, so it’s nice to have a pub down here that’s made it through to the final.’

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The pub’s trade has almost tripled since Zac became a tenant landlord three years ago, and he attributes its success to a major £255,000 refurbishment and a community-friendly ethos.

Last Sunday saw the pub host its first family fun day since the pandemic started, welcoming back more than 150 members of the community.

Zac said: ‘We took over a pub that was (selling) something like 63 brewers barrels a year - to now (selling) 180-odd a year, over the space of three years.

‘It went from almost no-one coming in to almost tripling the trade.’

‘It’s so much more community-based and involved with the community. We have had the mayor come down, Caroline Dinenage come down, church events. All sorts.’

Always looking to improve the pub’s offering, Zac intends to launch a brand new menu in a couple of weeks – with a focus on ‘plant-based’ meals.

He said: ‘We’re going to have lots of curries, like spinach and butternut squash curries, and German and American hotdogs, with vegetarian options.’

All category winners in the Great British Pub Award will be invited to a lunch in Manchester in October, when the overall pub of the year winner will be announced.

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