Two Somerset pubs have been selected by the discerning judges at the Good Pub Guide for top accolades in the 2013 awards.
The Crown Inn at Churchill has been awarded the coveted Unspoilt Pub of the Year title and Woods Public Bar at Dulverton is the holder of the Wine Pub of the Year honour.
UNSPOILT PUB OF THE YEAR 2013
The Crown Inn has been in the same hands for over quarter of a century and its friendly atmosphere, large range of cask ales and olde worlde charm have been major factors in its enduring success.
It is an old cottage with several cosy rooms warmed by roaring fires and the furniture and seating is charming in its harlequin variety.
There is an enticingly large range of ales on offer which today included: Bath Ales' Gem, Batch Bitter, two beers from the Hewish Brewery, Palmers, Butcombe, Tribute, PG Steam and draught Bass straight from the barrel.
The friendly atmosphere generated by staff and regular customers was warm and welcoming, and it was nice to note that children were also gladly received. The homely food included excellent sandwiches, baked potatoes, a ploughman’s, and a deliciously fiery chilli perfect for the frosty November day.
Some brave souls were enjoying the outstanding views over the Mendip Hills from the outside garden seating, taking a break from walking their dogs in the picturesque countryside.
WINE PUB OF THE YEAR 2013
Wine Pub of the Year winner Woods Bar and Restaurant in Dulverton is very popular all year round and booking is recommended.
The charming landlord and helpful staff stock a staggering 400 wines, any of which they will open for just a glass, and rumour has it there are an additional 500 unlisted mature New World wines which the landlord will happily discuss with you.
If you are planning a trip to the edge of Exmoor for some outdoor pursuits, this bar should really be a part of your itinerary - this bar has received some of the most glowing reviews to be found in the whole of the Good Pub Guide Series.
SOMERSET DINING PUB OF THE YEAR 2013
In addition to these two fine award-winners, the Good Pub Guide also highlights a particularly noteworthy dining pub in each county, the winner of the Somerset category is The Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay.
It is described as a "cheerful country dining pub, perched prettily above a steep wooded valley".
Head Chef is Gordon Ramsay's protégé Eddy Rains, who has been representing the tastes of the South West on ITV's Britain's Best Dish.
The kitchen specialises in high quality, locally-sourced produce and offers a number of specialist menus to suit every occasion and pocket.
The establishment also stocks an impressive range of large format mature vintages from Bordeaux.
ALL GOOD PUB GUIDE-RECOMMENDED PUBS IN SOMERSET
There are more than 150 pubs in Somerset that are recommended by the Good Pub Guide and this list could well be regarded as a challenge by the dedicated connoisseur.
We would be interested to hear from any readers regarding how many pubs from the Somerset list you have personally surveyed and any opinions you have which strongly disagree or concur with the guide's contributors. Does anyone think they could work their way through the whole list before 2013 is out? Go to it Somerset!