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Shepherd Neame Pub the Stag Inn Named a County Winner in Pub Awards

The Stag Inn in Hastings Old Town has been named a county winner in this year’s National Pub and Bar Awards.

The historic Shepherd Neame pub, which is run by licensee Nicole Holt and her husband Nick, was the winner in East Sussex alongside 93 other county winners across the country in the annual awards.

They will all now go forward to the Grand Final of the awards in June, with a Regional and National award up for grabs. The aim of these awards is to highlight the positive and inspiring work being carried out across the UK’s hospitality industry.

The news was a double whammy for the team as they were also notified in the same week that they had retained their AA Rosette for another year, after first receiving it last year.

Licensee Nicole who has run the 16th century inn for the past five years, said: “We are really happy – the county award is a great achievement and as a reward we go forward to the next stage, so fingers crossed!”

Since taking the pub on, the pair and their team have thrown themselves into Hastings life, hosting traditional folk evenings and entertainments like shanty evenings and a January Wassail, then adding in comedy nights and live music from both local talent and visiting artists. The Stag’s Head Chef Ben Cumberpatch also uses locally sourced ingredients compiled with extraordinary attention to detail for his range of delicious dishes, which earned the pub a place in the Good Food Guide last year.

Hastings is a town known for vibrant local events, and the Stag team can be seen throughout the year dressed up for Mardi Gras, St Patrick’s Night, Jack-in-the-Green, Old Town Carnival and the Hastings Bonfire.

“We try to bring new ideas to the pub to attract visitors, as we’re not on the main High Street, but at the same time we like to be respectful of the town’s tradition and the special place this old building has in the hearts of Hastings’ people,” added Nicole.