Leamington’s Great British Pug is crowned

Royal Pug operators Nigel Pinegar (left) and Matt Crowther.
Royal Pug operators Nigel Pinegar (left) and Matt Crowther.

A right royal victory has been claimed by a Leamington pub which has won an accolade in the ‘Oscars’ of the industry.

The Royal Pug, whose operators only took over management 12 months ago, has been crowned the Best Turnaround Pub in the Midlands in this year’s Great British Pub Awards.

Operators Matt Crowther and Nigel Pinegar picked up their award at a ceremony held at the Park Lane Hilton in London.

Working in partnership with Punch Taverns, the duo took over the former Sozzled Sausage site on Regent Street last year, following a £250,000 transformation that included both cosmetic and structural changes.

Matt said: “We are delighted to be being voted the best in the region. Since opening, the Royal Pug has exceeded all expectations. We are great fans of the Great British Pub and that is what we hold dear and is the foundation of our success.

“Our friendly and knowledgeable team serve fresh, locally sourced food, with a great range of ales, including locally brewed beers, wine and drinks in a cosy and comfortable setting.”

Matt and Nigel see the pub as being embedded in the community and have hosted mother and toddler groups, art and wine clubs, knit and natter groups and gin and jazz nights at the pub.

The establishment has also won awards for its breakfast and where possible the team uses local producers, including the Warwick Street-based butcher Aubrey Allen and the Warwick-based Old Pie Factory brewery.

Jacqueline Frow, partnership development manager at Punch Taverns, which owns the the Royal Pug, said: “Matt and Nigel are passionate about pubs, real ale and local sourcing and this shines through in everything they do. They are worthy winners.”

The Great British Pub Awards are considered to be the Oscars of the pub industry, with judging performed by a panel including business journalists, industry body chiefs and pub guide editors.