We’ve won best in the county for the second year running!

The 2018 Pub and Bar Magazine Awards are back and the judges have chosen the best Pubs and Bars in their respective counties. We are proud to announce the Fitzherbert Arms has been chosen as the best pub in the county of Staffordshire for the second year running! Our sister Pub the Church Inn has also won in Cheshire! So, we are doubly delighted with the news!

The awards presentation will once again take place at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, located in central London on Wednesday 23rd May. As well as coming top in the county, we are also in with a chance of winning best Regional Pub and Overall National Pub of the Year, both of which will be announced on the evening! It is an honour to have been awarded best in the county and we are excited for the Fitz team who all played a part in this!

We will keep you updated once the 23rd May is over….Wish us luck!



Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards 2018: Winners announced!

The top movers and shakers of the UK drinks industry gathered last night in London to hear the results of the Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards 2018.

The nominees were voted for by Imbibe magazine’s readers in record-breaking numbers and the shortlist included the highest calibre of UK on-trade professionals.

Tim Bird, co-founder of Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars picked up the award for Pub Personality of the Year.

Imbibe editor, Chris Losh, commented: ‘Tim has worked in the industry for over 35 years, and since he’s saved many pubs from closure in that time, it’s safe to say the UK’s pub scene would not have been the same without him.


‘He’s proved himself amazing at running everything from big pub groups to small independents, and, for the last seven years, his own group of country pubs and Inns. This passion for the industry is exactly what Imbibe Magazine is all about’.

Judges for the competition included restaurateur George Bergier, the Connaught Bar’s Ago Perrone, Michelin-starred chef Adam Byatt, Northcote’s Craig Bancroft, Gin Journey’s Leon Dalloway, Beer Belle Annabel Smith, Mixology Group’s Myles Cunliffe and the Imbibe editorial team.

Imbibe launched the Personality of the Year Awards in 2011 and previous winners have included Heston Blumenthal, Ronan Sayburn MS, Thinking Drinkers, Alex Kratena, Christine Parkinson, Xavier Rousset MS, Dee Davies, Lyndon Higginson, Stuart McCluskey, Salvatore Calabrese, Laura Rhys MS, Thomas Decan, the Galvin Brothers and Jake Burger, as well as many other on-trade professionals.

The 2018 awards were presented on Monday 12th February at Mahiki Kensington.

Launched in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has rapidly become the UK’s leading magazine for on-trade drinks professionals working in premium UK establishments. Imbibe is a quarterly magazine, with more than 20,000 drinks buyers and servers in the UK receiving a copy. Copies are available upon request.

Our Owner Tim is Pub Personality of the Year 2018!

Imbibe Magazine is the UK’s leading drinks magazine and tonight at their annual awards in London our owner Tim was chosen as ‘Pub Personality of the Year 2018’.

Tim was up against some of the pub industry’s top talent on the night, but the judges not only looked at Tim’s vast experience in the industry but particularly the success of Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars, Tim’s company that he operates with his wife and business partner Mary McLaughlin. They have taken pubs that were either closed or close to closure and through their restoration have created one of the best small pub companies in the UK!

On winning this prestigious award, Tim thanked the team at Cheshire Cat…..”I have had many proud moments in my career but nothing has made me prouder than the achievement of our pubs. Starting our own business was the best thing we have ever done and tonight I share this award with Mary and the Cheshire Cat team! I would like to thank Imbibe Magazine for giving me one of the proudest moments in my career! I look forward to celebrating with the team!”

Private Dining at the Fitz

Should you have a special occasion our Staffordshire Room can seat up to 26 for an intimate private dinner. There is a separate outside space too for guests to enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the warmer months before sitting down to enjoy lunch or supper. Menus can be arranged to suit your event with an extensive wine list and of course the biggest choice of Ports in a pub anywhere in the UK. From Shoot Suppers to special anniversaries the Staffordshire Room is perfect. Please ring Leanne or Lucy to get the ball rolling on 01782 796782

Fitz celebrates with sister Pub the Cholmondeley Arms!

From left Leanne manager of the Fitzherbert Arms holding the ‘Best Pub in Staffordshire’ certificate with Tom Head chef of the Cholmondeley Arms who has the ‘Best Pub in the Northwest’ plaque next to Lucy, deputy manager of the Fitzherbert Arms and Tom’s partner helping hold the certificate for the Cholmondeley Arms and Cholmondeley Arms manager Tim with yet another certificate for ‘Best Pub in the Northwest!’

Leanne and Lucy from the Fitzherbert Arms headed for London on Tuesday May 23rd to the BAFTA theatre in Piccadilly to be exact. They were invited by ‘Pub and Bar Magazine’ for its awards night as the Fitz was chosen as Staffordshire’s best pub in 2017 by the publication.

Also at the event were team mates Tim and Tom from the Cholmondeley Arms (also owned by Tim Bird and Mary Mclaughlin) celebrating winning best pub in Cheshire!! So a double for Cheshire Cat, the company owned by Tim and Mary! The Cholmondeley Arms went on to be crowned ‘best in the Northwest’ at the awards….a tremendous achievement and emulating the Church Inn in Mobberley who won the same title last year….another pub owned by Cheshire Cat!

Well done to the Fitz..just over a year old but already award winning.

We’ve won best in the County!

The 2017 Pub and Bar Magazine Awards are back and the judges have chosen the best Pubs  and Bars in their respective counties. We are delighted to announce the Fitzherbert Arms has been chosen as the best pub in the county of Staffordshire. We are naturally delighted! Our sister Pub the Cholmondeley Arms has also won in Cheshire! So we have a double to cheer about!

The awards are being presented at BAFTA in Piccadilly on 23rd May. At this event the best in the region will be decided…The Fitzherbert Arms is in the West Midlands final and the Cholmondeley Arms is in the Northwest final. Then one of the regional winners will win best pub in the U.K.!! Last year our sister Pub the Church Inn in Mobberley was voted best pub in the U.K. at the awards so it’s truly amazing to be amongst the best again! We are very excited for the entire team and our customers who have all played a part in us achieving such a great honour! We will keep you posted once the 23rd is over!


0d9b7101-editwebsizeCheshire Cat Pub and Bars, has been named as ‘Pub Group of the Year 2016/17’ by the prestigious Good Pub Guide. The award follows a string of successes for the company over the year including being chosen as the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the Publican Awards in London.

The Good Pub Guide is the number one selling guide book for pubs in the UK. This award is given from the guide to pub groups that are first rate in every way and run by people who really care about both their pubs and their customers. The 2017 Good Pub Guide will feature over 5,000 pubs demonstrating just how stiff the competition is.

Owner Tim Bird comments: “This is a true accolade and we are very, very proud indeed. This award will mean the world to our entire team and our customers, as it recognises our teams huge efforts in helping us run wonderfully individual pubs well. It also recognises our collective efforts in rescuing pubs that were previously closed down or lost causes. Our pubs and Inns now shine brightly for our many loyal customers to enjoy for many years to come”.

pub-group-of-the-year-2017The pub group was chosen by Fiona Stapeley, editor of the Good Pub Guide, and were marked on a range of criteria from the quality of service to product range, aesthetic design and the pub’s hospitality.

“The pubs have a great deal of individuality both in their décor, their choice of drinks, their food and their atmosphere,” says Fiona. “These pubs have consistently good feedback from all our readers. As I edit the book it becomes obvious which group of pubs really stand out head and shoulders above the others. Of course competition is stiff, but this year it was a straight-forward choice for me.”


Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars is owned and operated by Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, who have a collection of award winning pubs across Cheshire, Staffordshire and Dorset. Earlier this year the group were voted the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the prestigious Publican Awards ceremony in London. Their Church Inn won the coveted award of ‘UK’s Best Pub’ this summer, as well as their Fitzherbert Arms in Staffordshire scooping Sawday’s ‘Best Newcomer’.


Fitz-Ext-DayThe 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.”

PUB13-coverThe 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.