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Best pubs in Britain revealed: Family-run Galvin Green Man in Essex wins top prize at National Pub & Bar awards as 15 boozers are named the best in their region – so does YOUR local make the cut?

  • Galvin Green Man in Chelmsford, which is run by Essex-born brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin has been named the best pub in the UK at National Pub & Bar awards
  • Built in 1341, pub in Michelin guide  has menu centred around local ingredients 
  • 15 Regional Winners were selected across the country too including The Gun, Spitalfields which was named best in London

A family-run boozer in Essex has been named the best pub in the UK at the National Pub & Bar awards.    

Galvin Green Man in Chelmsford, which is run by Essex-born brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin  secured the top accolade at the glitzy-ceremony on Monday.

The venue, which was refurbished and opened by the Galvins in 2016, was commended for its first-class delivery of food, drink, service and all-round pub experience.

Set in 1.5 acres of peaceful meadow amidst the beautiful Essex countryside, with the River Chelmer running through the beer garden, the charming Green Man is said to be one of the oldest pubs in Essex, built in 1341.

It’s also in the Michelin guide and has a Bib Gourmand- which denotes ‘good quality, good value cooking’. The red book describes it as ‘full of rustic charm’ and that is serves ‘carefully constructed and full of flavor’.

Galvin Green Man in Chelmsford, which is run by Essex-born brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin secured the top accolade at the glitzy-ceremony on Monday. While dozens of others where named the best in their region

The National Pub & Bar Awards 2021 Winners 

East Midlands – The Tollemache Arms, Harrington

East of England – Galvin Green Man, Chelmsford

London – The Gun, Spitalfields

North East – Leila Lily’s, Newcastle upon Tyne

North West – The Church Inn, Mobberley

Northern Ireland – Tomney’s Bar, Dungannon

North West Scotland – The Plockton Hotel, Highlands

North East Scotland – The Criterion, St Andrews

South East Scotland – No.1 The Grange, Edinburgh

South West Scotland – The Steamboat Inn, Dumfrie

South East – The Wiremill, Lingfield

South West – The Wheatsheaf, Northleach

Wales – Hare & Hounds, Aberthin

West Midlands – The Flyford, Flyford Flavell

Yorkshire and the Humber – The Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax

Pub Chef of the Year – Simon Vickers, The Griffin, Dyfed

Havana Club Bartender of the Year – Joe Calvey, The Wiremill, Lingfield

Kegstar Taproom of the Year – Walled City Brewery, Derry/Londonderry

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Pub Brand of the Year – JD Wetherspoon

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Bar Brand of the Year – The Alchemist


Galvin Green Man was also one of 15 pubs to be named as the best in its Region, as 94 county-winning venues gathered at 30 Euston Square to acknowledge the finest businesses in the industry. 

Celebrating and championing the UK pub and bar market, the theatre-style event was hosted by restaurant critic Grace Dent.  

‘To come through the last year and a half and be recognised like this is fantastic,’ Chris Galvin told FEMAIL.

‘Everyone’s a winner here, but I’m particularly proud of our head chef Chris Ball, and general manager Katie MacKay who runs a really tight ship. 

‘It’s all about looking after our locals and anyone that visits. We try our best day in, day out. It’s important to mention our suppliers, who have been on the same difficult journey and often get forgotten. They redoubled their efforts when we reopened.’

Guests can expect the likes of a salad of heritage tomato, Buffalo mozzarella, basil pesto, Great Garnetts pork belly, peach, celeriac purée & Madeira jus, Adnams beer battered fish & chips, mushy peas & tartare sauce and Honey roasted figs with Lavender ice cream. DIshes are pictured

The 2021 Catey Award winners  showing the best hospitality in the UK 

Best Marketing Campaign Award, sponsored by Bidfood – The Rick Stein Group

Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC): Joanne Taylor-Stagg, the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, London

 Best Use of Technology Award, sponsored by Ten Kites: 67 Pall Mall, London 

Accessibility Award, sponsored by Nescafé (Nestlé Professional):  Hotel Brooklyn,  Manchester

Newcomer Award, sponsored by lunch! Commercial Kitchen and Casual Dining:  Barge East, London 

Menu of the Year Award, sponsored by Belazu Ingredient Co: Orasay, London 

Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by 4C Associates: Whatley Manor, Wiltshire

Pub and Bar Award, sponsored by Britvic: Joe Calvey, Tim Foster and Anthony, Pender, the Yummy Pub Co 

Hotel of the Year – Independent, sponsored by Travelzoo – The Fife Arms, Aberdeenshire 

Foodservice Caterer Award, sponsored by DigiTally – Allister Richards, CH&Co 

Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by #Fair Kitchens– Alastair Storey

Restaurateur of the Year – Independent, sponsored by Flipdish – Gary Usher, Elite Bistros 

Restaurateur of the Year – Group, sponsored by Entegra Europe   Philip Eeles, Tom Barton and Dorian Waite, Honest Burgers 

Best Employer Award, sponsored by Nescafé (Nestlé Professional) – PPHE Hotel Group 

Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award, sponsored by Matthew Clark –  Eric Zwiebel,  Summer Lodge Country House, Dorset 

Health and Nutrition Award, sponsored by Johnons Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Linen – Eurest 

Public Sector Caterer Award, sponsored by Bidfood –  Alison Shedlock, the University of Manchester 

Education and Training Award, sponsored by Indeed Flex – Murray Chapman, A Passion to Inspire 

Hotel of the Year – Group, sponsored by phs Direct – The Berkeley, London 

 Chef Award, sponsored by Brakes – Andrew Wong

International Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Unilever Food, Solutions, Wall’s, #Fair Kitchens’ – Pierre Gagnaire and Mourad Mazouz 

 Special Award, sponsored by CH&Co – Angela Hartnett

‘Winning this award showcases everything we’ve been doing for so long, and it’s amazing,’ added Katie MacKay, Galvin Green Man’s general manager. 

‘We have a fantastic team, an incredible community and brilliant suppliers. We love what we do, so it’s great to know that other people love it too.’

Galvin Green Man’s menu is centred around locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, featuring modern British dishes. 

Guests can expect the likes of a salad of heritage tomato, Buffalo mozzarella, basil pesto, Great Garnetts pork belly, peach, celeriac purée & Madeira jus, Adnams beer battered fish & chips, mushy peas & tartare sauce and Honey roasted figs with Lavender ice cream. 

As is the case each year, there were 94 pubs and bars represented at the awards, each one having been previously announced as the best in their county. 

From these, 15 Regional Winners were selected before Galvin Green Man was crowned the National Winner.       

It comes as the winners of the annual Catey Awards were announced at London’s Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, last night.

The Catey awards recognise the most talented individuals, biggest brands and strongest performers in the hospitality industry. The shortlists and winners are decided by industry judges chosen for their expertise and industry knowledge, making the Cateys the ultimate accolade in peer group recognition.

Many of the winners were recognised for the compassion they demonstrated with both employees and communities in what has been one of the most challenging periods the hospitality sector has ever experienced. 

The Lifetime Achievement went to chairman and chief executive of Westbury Street Holdings Alastair Storey in recognition of a career driven by passion, enthusiasm and commitment combined with audacious acquisitions that have helped him to create one of the most impressive businesses of our time.

Murano chef Angela Hartnett was handed the Special Award honouring her accomplishments as chef, restaurateur, author, television personality and, in recent times, government lobbyist. 

Sketch founders Pierre Gagnaire and Mourad Mazouz received the International Outstanding Achievement Award for having created a unique venue in their Mayfair restaurant with a worldwide following. 

This year’s Chef Award went to Andrew Wong, whose restaurant A Wong in London was awarded with two Michelin stars last year, making it the first Chinese restaurant in the world outside Asia to do so. 

Chefs and restaurateurs who also won big included Gary Usher, winner of Restaurateur of the Year – Independent.

Editor of The Caterer, James Stagg told FEMAIL: ‘It was incredibly special to welcome the industry’s finest operators back to Grosvenor House Hotel once again. The Cateys is always a memorable evening but this year’s was even more so given the incredible challenges operators have faced. 

‘As well as being a celebration of the industry’s resilience and determination, we were able to reward some of the individuals and businesses who have really shone in the past year. Hearty congratulations to all of our shortlists and winners. In a year like no other they have proved what innovation and agility there is in the hospitality sector.’ 

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