The Cock Inn, in Muggington near Ashbourne, is one of 94 pubs in the UK to have won the prestigious County Honor at the National Pub & Bar Awards.
After reopening, outdoors in April and indoors in May, the pub was visited by a mystery judge, who was clearly impressed with what they witnessed at the campaign pub that turned. built a reputation for its mouth-watering food and picturesque surroundings.
Pub owners were judged on knowledge and overall execution, as well as design, team building, food and beverage, investment, marketing and events.
The pub has been located at the junction of Bullhurst Lane and Church Lane for centuries, and in the 18th and 19th centuries the toll road was part of a key route from London to Manchester.
In 2006, the inn ceased operations and sat empty for ten years until it was taken over by local Berkeley Inns chain run by MD Howard Thacker and given a makeover and expanded to create a contemporary style restaurant.
Spokeswoman Dawn-Elizabeth Rudd said, “’We always strive for excellence and build on this year, improving and modernizing and we are relentless in our quest to provide exemplary service.
“We are a relatively small company that relies on our reputation, accolades and accolades such as the National Pub and Bar Awards to grow and prosper.
“This is an incredible achievement for us and our staff, not to mention a huge boost to the morale of everyone within our facility.
“Despite the difficult world we face with enormous financial responsibilities, we continue to provide only the best food and drink offering for miles around and are recognized in the Midlands for our exacting standards and high levels of service. customer.
“We are consistent with providing an exemplary dining experience on all levels and now, with the addition of our dining environments, we can deliver rather special and unique experiences to our visitors and local residents.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we are fortunate to have a team of passionate and talented professionals who literally go above and beyond every day to provide exemplary service to our visitors from everywhere.
“We are incredibly proud of everyone at The Cock Inn, it is a testament to all of their hard work, strength and commitment that we have managed to once again win this incredible award for our county.
“These were dark days for our industry, and we have strived to meet any challenges with courage and desire to serve our community, adapting and implementing measures to keep our environments safe while providing experiences. culinary friendly despite the complexities of the pandemic world. “
The pub has a menu serving Derbyshire beef linguine, lobster and crayfish, summer asparagus and spinach risotto and a burger dubbed the Big Mick. On Sundays, the focus is on roasts with locally sourced meat, including Derbyshire lamb and beef, as well as free range chicken and pork.
During the pandemic, five garden pods were installed to provide guests with safe outdoor space as well as a number of picnic benches and an extendable tent canopy.
“The luxury garden rooms are equipped with WIFI, music and heating with menus protected under glass trays that can be easily disinfected after each visit,” said Dawn.
“After each customer visit, our gardens have been rigorously checked and steam cleaned. We have invested heavily in PPE to ensure the safety of our customers and staff at all times, which has always been our top priority. “
During the first lockdown, the pub remained open to offer a take-out service and provided free meals for people over 70 twice a week, while the outdoor bar was adapted into a village store.
Dawn said, “There is no other way to describe the devastating effects this global pandemic has had on our industry and our rural communities.
“The Great British Pub is now under serious threat, going back almost 200 years in our heritage, it is the cornerstone of our community that brings people together and this has been well demonstrated during this global pandemic.
“We have shown that despite the (problems) this pandemic has caused so many people that we have been able to support in a different way and adapt and remain strong and resilient. “
Since Freedom Day on Monday, with the lifting of restrictions on wearing face masks and social distancing, the pub has retained some security measures.
While customers can now order at the bar, they can still be served at the table by staff who will continue to wear face masks.
Hand sanitizer is available everywhere with the option to connect to the Test and Trace app if customers wish.
By putting pubs in the spotlight at the start of summer holidays and stays, the list of winners will help food lovers find out which locals have been selected as the best in each region of the country.
The pubs will be officially crowned at a red carpet celebration in London on September 6.
The next step for The Cock Inn is to try and win the best pub in the East Midlands.
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In addition to announcing 15 regional winners during the evening, the winner of the National Pub & Bar of the Year will be announced.
Tristan O’Hana, editor-in-chief of Pub & Bar magazine, which hosts the event, told Derbyshire Live: “I think their own words perfectly sum up the pub” A compelling dining and entertainment experience to meet growing demand quality food and drink in a well-appointed, warm and friendly place ”.
“A more than worthy winner for Derbyshire. “
He added: “I have never been so proud of this industry. This year’s award nominations demonstrated the undeniable value communities place on their beloved pubs and bars.
“Being able to recognize the hard work and diligence of sites in 94 UK counties is an absolute privilege. These exceptional sites deserve this recognition more than ever.
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