The Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton has been voted as the ‘Best Newcomer’ in the prestigious Sawday’s Pubs & Inns Guide of England & Wales.  The award comes after the Fitzherbert saw off competition from more than 800 pubs also featured in the guide.

The Fitzherbert Arms, located on Lord Stafford’s estate, re-opened in February this year after a period of significant restoration work that saw the famous 19th Century pub restored to its former glory as a lovely, quintessential village pub that oozes character and charm.

Tim Bird, owner of Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars who operate the Fitzherbert Arms, comments; “With nearly 800 pubs featured in this year’s guide, winning an award so soon after opening is a fantastic achievement for the team.  What’s more important however is to see the positive response we’ve had from customers and to see such a famous old pub thriving again.”

The judges were impressed with the pub’s enticing décor, featuring creative interiors and pieces such as a blacksmith forge and unique anvil tables.  The guide also praises the mix of customers from dog-walkers and ale-drinkers to those who have travelled from further afield to enjoy the quality food and impressive range of ports.

Other highlights featured include the beautiful open-plan feel, warmed by three cosy fires, a ‘friendly vivacious team’ as well as the platefuls of flavoursome food ranging from seafood platters, steak and stout pies, crumbles, brownies and port-poached pears all served on old fashioned tables.

The Fitzherbert Arms was also praised for its range of drinks that include 30 different ports (more than any other pub in the country), 16 wines by the glass and a real cider as well as four cask ales from within a 35 mile radius of the pub. There is a cosy snug, a private dining room and a charming outside summer terrace.

Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin operate seven country pubs, five in Cheshire, one in Dorset and now one in Staffordshire and have won numerous awards for restoring pubs of great heritage and character.  Their estate includes the award winning and lovingly restored Cholmondeley Arms on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate, The Church Inn and Bull’s Head in Mobberley and The Red Lion in Weymouth.  Their latest venture, the Roebuck Inn in Mobberley, has also now opened to offer a boutique Bistro with six eclectic rooms.


Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars, who own and operate The Cholmondeley Arms on the Cholmondeley estate, The Bulls Head and Church Inn in Mobberley, the Three Greyhounds Inn in Allostock, the Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton and the Red Lion in Weymouth, Dorset, has been voted the company with the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the prestigious Publican Awards ceremony in London.

Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars beat a number of national chains to the title, drawing high praise from the judges for supporting cask ales from local brewers. The company was also awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ title in the Best Food Offer category.

Each pub within the collection specializes in a particular drink with The Cholmondeley Arms boasting more than 300 gins, the Red Lion offering more than 80 rums and the Fitzherbert Arms offering over 30 Ports by the bottle. Whiel the Bulls Head, Three Greyhounds Inn and the Church have enviable collections of Whisky, Brandy and wine respectfully.

Tim Bird, owner of the unique collection of village pubs and country inns, comments: “These awards are equivalent to the drinks industry’s ‘Oscars’ and it is fantastic that our pubs and our teams has been recognized in this way. The award recognises the hard work that the team puts in and how we work with local breweries, suppliers and food producers to bring a memorable and unique experience to our customers everyday.”

Ed Bebbington, of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, comments: “This is a company that puts a lot of time and thought into getting its drink offer right, from its superb focus on local, great beers, through to an impressive offer of wines and spirits.”

Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, owners of Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars, have already won numerous awards for restoring pubs of great heritage and character and are now focused on the Roebuck Inn, also in Mobberley which after three years of closure is set to open in April.

For further information on Cheshire Cat Pubs and its collection of pubs, please visit

A Job well done!

Weeks 9 & 10

Weeks 7 & 8

Weeks Four & Five