Durham Pub announced as a finalist for Pub of the Year Award

By Emily Doughty

The Station House has been named as one of the finalists for the prestigious National Pub of the Year Award. If they win, they will become the first pub to claim the prize since 2019, after the competition was halted in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. 

The “back to basics” pub, which is found on North Road, has already been named the best pub in the North East region and won Town Cider Pub of the Year in 2017 and 2018. It will become the first pub in Durham to win National pub of the year if it wins the accolade. 

It is also the youngest pub to become a finalist, only being opened in 2015, with an emphasis on conversation. It will be competing against The Horse & Jockey in Stapleford, The King’s Head in Norwich and Tamworth Tap in Tamworth for the title.

National Pub of the Year is an annual competition run by CAMRA to find the best pub in the UK. According to CAMRA, competing pubs are judged on their “atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, inclusivity, overall impression, but most importantly — the quality of live beer, real cider and perry.”

Station House has already been named the best pub in the North East Region

CAMRA, the campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 16,000 members. Operating since 1971, its vision is “to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community”

Co-owners Susannah and Chris Mansfield celebrated the news by saying “We opened The Station House in 2015 with a view to being the kind of pub we wanted to drink in.

“In the years since we’ve gradually made tweaks, but our central aims have remained: great beer and cider, great community, and welcoming space for all. In essence, we want people to come because the beer is excellent and stay because they’ve got chatting with someone.

“Our amazing team of staff is key to what we do, and we could not be prouder of them. Our regulars, whether old or new, local or from further afield, make the pub the vibrant, welcoming community it is. Without their continued support, the last few years would have been even tougher. The Station House remains the pub we want to drink in. We’re very proud, therefore, to be national finalists for Pub of the Year.”

“Our amazing team is key to what we do, and we could not be prouder of them”

Susannah and chris mansfield

CAMRA Branch Chair Paul Dobson echoed the message, “It is great to see the Station House crowned Regional Pub of the Year against some really stiff competition, and it’s absolutely wonderful that it has emerged successful at Super Regional level. It shows to the beer-drinking and pub-going world that the North East in general and County Durham in particular has some great establishments.

“The Station House is relatively young, but in the few years of its existence Susie, Chris and the rest of the team have stuck to the principles they quickly established – which match those of CAMRA. Being placed in the final four of the national competition is a fitting acknowledgement of their sterling work – particularly given the effects of lockdown and the current economic climate – and a great honour for our branch.”

The news was also celebrated by local MP Mary Foy, who tweeted “Congratulations to @StationHouseDHM who have been named in the top 4 pubs in the country by @CAMRA_Offical. Always a favourite of my team and I”

The winner of the National Pub of the Year competition will be announced in January 2023.

Image Credit: CAMRA

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