Henlow’s The Crown pub named as best in Bedfordshire in top awards

The Crown has been chosen as Bedfordshire’s best pub
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A Henlow pub is raising a pint after being named the county winner of a prestigious national competition.

The Crown on High Street, Henlow is this year’s county winner of the National Pub and Bar of the Year competition. It last won the title in 2022.

Pub owner Alex Wallman, who has run the pub with his brother and sister in law Kevin and Carmel, since 2008, said they were thrilled with the vote of confidence.

Alex, Carmel and Kevin Wallman at The Crown in HenlowAlex, Carmel and Kevin Wallman at The Crown in Henlow
Alex, Carmel and Kevin Wallman at The Crown in Henlow

"We are a small independent family run pub,” he said. “It’s all about customer service, we try to look after our customers and they look after us as well.”

The award wins are part of the 2024 National Pub & Bar Awards, which each year crowns nearly 100 county winners from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, giving each site a unique platform to promote themselves and increase guest footfall from locals and visitors alike.

The pioneering hospitality operators have demonstrated excellence across a number of elements that affect the customer journey, including design, service, style of offer, marketing and investment. The venues now have over two months in which to trade off their win, before making their way to the National Pub & Bar Awards grand final on 26 June.

Held in London, the final will welcome all 94 county winners, before discovering which venues will go on to become regional winners.

The awards night will also crown the Pub Group of the Year, Bar Group of the Year, The Tyrrells Tyrrellbly Good Taste Award – presented by the event’s headline sponsor – and, finally, the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year.

“The fact that we had record entries for the 2024 National Pub & Bar Awards tells us two things,” says Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, which runs the event. “One is how highly the industry regards these accolades, which is fantastic. But, also, it shows that more operators are in need of really positive and strong publicity to help drive business at the moment. Pubs and bars are facing some of the biggest challenges in recent history, so if the National Pub & Bar Awards can help by lifting sales across these venues, then we’re delighted to play our part.”

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