Southsea pub sets sights on best beer garden prize

Landlady Judy Burr in the garden''of the Barley Mow in Southsea Picture:Habibur Rahman
Landlady Judy Burr in the garden''of the Barley Mow in Southsea Picture:Habibur Rahman
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It’s a pub proud of its real ale with bags of character.

Now The Barley Mow in Castle Road, Southsea, has set its sights on clinching an award for having the best beer garden in Britain.

The local is one of just 10 finalists that have been short-listed to win Britain’s Best Beer Garden 2016, organised by insurance firm, SME Insurance, which specialises in the pub and hospitality sector.

The Barley Mow faces stiff competition from the other national finalists – and needs the support of local people to help it win the top accolade.

Landlady and keen gardener Judy Burr has been in charge of the pumps for 10 years.

She said: ‘I love gardening, and I think the garden here is quite nice.

‘It’s a garden people comment on. It’s not very big and some people walking by don’t even know it’s here.

‘I have been working on it for a lot of years, building up the plants. For the smokers, it’s nice for them to sit in, and it’s important to keep them included.

‘But it’s also a nice space for non-smokers too.’

The winning beer garden will be based on the highest number of public votes, coupled with the decision of an independent judging panel, comprising industry experts from pub trade magazine the Morning Advertiser, the British Beer and Pub Association, and Two Thirsty Gardeners blog.

But The Barley Mow is more than just a warm-hearted pub with a nice garden.

It promotes local music and holds open mic and jazz evenings.

There is a quiz and competitive pool and dart teams. Plus there are eight ales on tap.

Judy said: ‘We have every age range come to drink in here, from people in their teens through to people in their 80s.

‘Everyone looks out for each other. Getting on with your neighbours and knowing them is important.’

Jonathan Webber, commercial director of SMEi, said: ‘Britain’s Best Beer Garden has certainly captured the imagination of the nation’s pub goers and publicans.

‘We have been absolutely delighted by the quality and wealth of entries we’ve received from classic traditional country pubs through to modern city centre bars.

‘It’s now up to the public and our independent judging panel to decide the winner, so we urge everyone to vote online to increase the chances of their favourite pub being crowned the champion.’

Pub lovers can vote online here before midnight on Sunday.