Family-run Windermere pub The Crafty Baa has been given the prestigious national accolade of the AA Pub of the Year.
The AA Pub of the Year is selected with the help of AA inspectors and was awarded at a glittering London ceremony on Monday night.
The Crafty Baa is the creation of Vincent, Lisa and Ben Gregg, the unconventional pub is well loved by locals and tourists alike and has consistently ranked as number one on TripAdvisor.
The popular family are well-known in Windermere having run a window-cleaning business in the village for many years before embarking on the family dream of running a pub two years ago. Originally a second-hand bookshop, Vincent, wife Lisa and son Ben set about transforming the building into a hand-built cosy pub specialising in craft beers. There are over one hundred on offer and the family even have three of their own Crafty Ales made for them too.
The original renovations took seven months to complete, and used recycled and upcycled materials with everything being built by the family, even the bar itself is made from old pallet boxes. Since opening the doors in August 2016 the pub has undergone another set of renovations by extending into the neighbouring property to create three new rooms known fondly as The Potting Shed, The Lost & Found Room and The Social Room.
The respected awards, now in their 21st year are known as the Oscars of the hospitality industry and involve a panel of judges travelling the country over twelve months visiting the UKs pubs, restaurants and bars.
AA Hospitality said of The Crafty Baa: “The Crafty Baa is the brain child of Vince, Lisa and Ben who shed their own blood, sweat and tears in building the place themselves. Around 80% of the materials they used were either recycled or upcycled which has gone a long way to giving it a unique style and atmosphere. Set over three floors there’s an array of seats and tables where good food and an extensive range of beers around the world can be enjoyed. Several beers are available on draught and the team are keen for you to taste before you buy.”
Vincent, Lisa and Ben Gregg, owners of The Crafty Baa commented: “Winning the award means a tremendous amount to us for the sheer graft we put into making The Crafty Baa possible. We were up for challenge we are so glad we went for it, it’s a family dream come true.
“When we look around and see customers laughing and enjoying their time we can’t believe how far we’ve come in the last two years. Everything in the pub has been built together as a family, our staff and customers are like family too so winning this means even more to us. It’s just great to know that people like what we’re doing here and we’re looking forward to the next chapter for The Crafty Baa.”
Future developments for this entrepreneurial family include opening their own on-site ‘pub shop’ which will sell everything available in the pub such as craft beers, specialist vodkas, chutneys, cheeses and more. The family have plans to have this opening in time for Christmas this year. The Crafty Baa can be found at the bottom of Victoria Street in Windermere. It is open seven days a week and also welcomes regular live music.
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