The Best Pubs across the UK are chosen as winners of their counties in 2022

With consumer confidence on the rise and hospitality venues continuing their journey on the road to recovery, 94 pubs and bars across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have scooped a prestigious County Winner title as part of the 2022 National Pub & Bar Magazine Awards, including our very own Church Inn for Cheshire and our Fitzherbert Arms for Staffordshire.

The National Pub & Bar Awards aims to put exemplary businesses across the UK in the national spotlight, showcasing the hospitality industry’s diversity, creativity and vital importance to the UK economy.

The announcement of this year’s 94 County Winners shows the level of quality being delivered to pub and bar visitors every day of the week.

The pubs, which have been selected on overall best practice across a number of operational categories, will be officially crowned at a ‘red carpet’ celebration at 30 Euston Square, London, on Wednesday 22 June 2022. At this ‘grand finale’, 15 Regional Winners will also be announced, as well as the esteemed accolade – the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year 2022. An award which has been won twice by our Church Inn in Mobberley in 2019/20 and 2016/17.

“Just from being out and about, you can see how much pubs and bars mean to people across the UK,” says Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, which hosts the event. “With visitor numbers increasing, it’s more important than ever for operators to deliver standout service and product quality during every visit – no matter the business in question. The 94 County Winners are wonderful examples of the brilliance of today’s modern on-trade. If you live near one of these county winners, make sure you pay them a visit!”

The National Pub & Bar Awards is sponsored by Hellmann’s, Kegstar, Kingfisher, Knorr and St Pierre.

Great turnout for 6th Fitz Treasure Hunt!

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the 6th Fitzherbert Arms Car Treasure Hunt. Thank you too for all the kind donations. £50 was raised for the Air Ambulance, as each car team donated towards this great cause.

10 teams rocked up to the Fitz on a bright, dry day, to take on the hunt, set up by owner Tim and the Fitz team.

Everyone gave it a good go and got back safely to enjoy a nibble and a drink as Carl and the team set about the serious task of marking the papers!

Finally the scores were in!

The third place team were the ‘Team Taxi’ who picked up a £20 gift voucher! In second place were the ‘Audi Do’ Team who picked up a £30 Fitzherbert gift voucher.

Drum roll….in first place, taking the title of 2021 Fitzherbert Arms treasure hunt champions….were the ‘Eccleshall Escort Service’! Well done to them! Winning a Porsche for a day, kindly provided by our long-standing sponsors Porsche Chester.

Congratulations to the winning team and everyone who took part! A great day indeed!

See you all next Year!

The 30 best winter pubs in Britain, for dog-lovers, walkers, foodies and more…..


Saturday 16th November 2019

The Fitzherbert Arms, Stone, Staffordshire


In the old village of Swynnerton on Lord Stafford’s estate is the dog-friendly Fitzherbert, perfect for a pint after a winter’s walk. Pups are welcome in the bar and snug, which entwine with an open-plan feel and are warmed by three delicious fires.

A vivacious team ferry platefuls of food to elegant tables: seafood platters, steak and stout pies, crumbles, brownies and local cheeses. Your four-legged friend won’t feel left out thanks to tasty treats on the bar.

sawdays.co.uk/pubs/thefitzherbertarms

The 30 best winter pubs in Britain, as selected by Sawday’s

First Port of Call….for the team at the Fitz’

The Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton, Staffordshire, situated on Lord Stafford’s estate, has been appointed a ‘Graham’s Port Ambassador’ at a Port Tasting evening held at the pub on the 24th October 2019. The Fitzherbert Arms is the first pub in the UK to be presented with the award and joins a very special group of just eight establishments worldwide. The award recognises not only the exceptional Port list, with 30 different Ports available, (twelve of which are served by the glass) but also the dedication and professionalism of the Fitzherbert team who have delivered a consistent experience over the past 3 years with Graham’s and Port overall.

João Vasconcelos, Head of Sales for the Symington Family Estates, flew in from Porto to present the plaque to James Griffiths, Landlord of The Fitzherbert Arms and his deputy manager Charlotte Dawe in recognition of the work they have done. It has been an exciting time for James and Charlotte, as both spent three days in Porto and the Douro Valley on a company trip in September to improve their knowledge and experience even further.

Commenting on the evening, Tim Bird and Mary Mclaughlin, the owners of the Fitzherbert Arms, stated “It has been a wonderful evening celebrating the Ports from this historical region of Portugal, we are over the moon and very honoured to own the first pub in the UK to be appointed as a Graham’s Port Ambassador. We look forward to continuing to increase the awareness and enjoyment of these amazing Ports in the Fitzherbert Arms and across our other pubs within our Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars Group. It was lovely to share this special night with our loyal customers and Lord Stafford. They too are very proud of the pubs achievement.”

Porto and the Douro Valley

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As we flew out of Manchester on the Tuesday evening nothing could have prepared us for the trip we had ahead of us. We landed safely in Porto and after a quick ‘check in’, we headed to a small local restaurant just outside the Porto Railway station (which I have to say is one of the most beautiful stations I have seen). Restaurant Rapido named after a train…not the service….was lovely and we ordered homecooked fish and Veal with some excellent Douro Wines both white and red. A great meal was had by all and the wine was quaffed with gusto.

Our hosts were Ed from Fells, the company owned by the Symington Family Estates. The family is now in its fifth generation and own superb Ports such as Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s, Warre’s and several smaller Quintas (Vineyards/Wine Farms) situated on the banks that form the valley of the Douro River. The river runs from Spain through Portugal and reaches the sea via Porto.

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Fitz Fete Day

What a fabulous day we had on Saturday 29th June when we hosted our second Village Fete. As always, the dog show was a huge success. Our winners this year were:

Perfect Puppy – Biscuit
Cheeky Chum – Reggie
Prize Pedigree – Sydney
Marvellous Mixed Breed – Daisy-Mae
Golden Oldie -Harvey

We were lucky to be treated to a performance by a local dance troop from MLDC Studios. There were local craft stalls, a barbecue and a bake-off competition with delicious sweet and savoury offerings and we enjoyed excellent live music all afternoon too.

Thank you to all our customers who came and supported us, and to our staff for working so hard on the day. We look forward to seeing everyone (and hopefully some new faces too!) next year.

GOING FOR THE TREBLE!

We are very excited to announce that Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars have been nominated for three very prestigious awards at the 2019 Casual Dining Awards, taking place in London on Wednesday 27th February. We feel very honoured to be nominated for two such special awards as ‘Employer of the Year’ and ‘Multi-Site Operator of the Year’ and are also very proud of our sister pub, the Cholmondeley Arms, for being nominated for ‘Pub of the Year’. Our owners, Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, are heading off to the Big Smoke as guests of our excellent wine suppliers, Boutinot, to attend the awards ceremony, and we will keep you posted on the results of our nominations.

 

The Fitz celebrate 200 years with a village Fete!

What a wonderful sunny day it was for the first Fitzherbert Arms Village fete and start of the 200th Birthday celebrations of the Fitz founded in 1818 this year marks 200 years of the famous pub! With a dog show, a Swynnerton ‘bake off’ and great live music from house band, Dave and Howard, it was a day to remember!

45 dogs registered for the dog show with five different categories such as ‘cheeky chappie’ and ‘golden oldie’. Sam from purely pets judged each category with an adorable Cavachon coming out ‘Top dog’ winning the ‘best in show’ category!

‘The Great Village Bake Off’ had quite a selection of savoury and sweeter treats baked by our customers……Mary Berry would have been stuck for choice and lost for words! Not a soggy bottom in sight!!

Our bake off was judged by Lord Stafford and congratulations to all the great bakers who took part! See all the photos below for the winners and the day itself.​

We want to say a massive thank you to all our loyal customers who joined the festivities and to all the staff for their hard work!

We have won best in the West Midlands!

We are very proud to announce that our Fitzherbert Arms has won ‘Best Pub for the West Midlands’ at the Pub and Bar Awards at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London on Wednesday 23rd May. Our sister Pub the Church Inn has also won ‘Best Pub for the North West’ for the second time in three years!

So, we are doubly delighted with this great news!

Big congratulations go to our GM James and the entire Fitz team. James attended the awards presentation with Dan our Head Chef.

Hard work and passion has persevered…and for a pub that was closed down two years ago this is truly amazing recognition for the team….well done everybody!

Not only did we win we met Martin Keogh the Arsenal legend and BBC pundit!