Village inn pair Steve and Christine Dilworth feel on top of the world after pulling the title of Britain’s best pub.
The couple, who have run the Swan With Two Necks at Pendleton for 27 years, were selected for the title out of 57,000 pubs by judges from CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
Its National Pub of the Year Award was to be presented to the couple yesterday at a celebration day for staff and customers.
Steve had known about their victory for more than a week, but had to keep it to himself until the official announcement was made on Monday.
“It’s absolutely brilliant, not just for me and Christine but for our superb staff and the village community,” said Steve (59).
“We have some staff who have been with us for 18 or 19 years.”
The pub was national runner-up in the CAMRA awards two years ago, and once again went through a tough judging process to get through county and regional finals to the national stage.
CAMRA assessed pubs for the quality of their beer and food, the staff and the atmosphere.
CAMRA pubs director Julian Hough said: “The Swan with Two Necks really is the best of the best.
“It is a wonderfully welcoming pub that serves a fantastic pint.”
CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2014 says: “The home-made food here comes in portions ideal for hungry walker.
“There is outdoor seating in the garden and in front of the pub, looking out onto a small stream running through the beautifully kept village. Cosy open fires blaze in winter months.”
The main house beer is Golden Pippin, from Copper Dragon at Skipton, alongside guest ales from micro-breweries, many of them local.
Steve added: “Cask beer is a living thing, and it’s only at its best for a short time... like a butterfly! The brewers put a lot of skill into brewing it, so pubs need to take care over it.
“I’m still talking to my barrels and they’re still behaving themselves!”
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, who lives in Pendleton, congratulated the Dilworths in the House of Commons with an Early Day Motion.
He said: “It really is a fantastic pub and I am incredibly lucky to live right next door.”