A PUB in Poulner has scooped the newcomer of the year award.

The London Tavern was taken on by Phil Hoyle and his fiancée Sarah last year.

Having previously run his own events company, publican Phil was keen to bring plenty of live entertainment to the pub. And having connections with the capital and being known as Johnnie Londoner, he named the pub The London Tavern.

The pub received the award at Ei Group’s Awards for Excellence in the Old Thorns Hotel in Hampshire on July 2.

Publican Phil Hoyle said: “We are so proud and thrilled to receive this accolade – a clear testament to the team’s fantastic efforts, hard work and commitment over the past year. It’s extremely rewarding to reflect on what we’ve achieved since taking over the pub and being recognised for this at a national level.

“We had the challenge of introducing a brand new food offer – something that the pub had never tried before – and we’ve had such a positive response. Our customers and the local community have been supportive right from the start, and we couldn’t have done this without them.”

The Awards for Excellence recognise and celebrate the achievements of publicans across the Ei group.

Each pub faced scrutiny from a judging panel made up of industry experts and senior figures before site visits from pub expert Phil Dixon.

Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend said: “It’s widely reported that the first year of running a business is, for many, the most challenging, but those first few months can also be the most rewarding.

“Phil has made a huge success of the London Tavern, and we’re sure he and his team will continue to bring his vision to life, as they keep up the great work.”

He added: “The standard of entries to our awards this year was exceptionally high with so many of our publicans going the extra mile to make a real difference in their communities.”