Northamptonshire village pub announced as finalist for ‘hard-fought’ national award

The Tollemache Arms was selected as a finalist from more than 300 entries based on community impact, mystery diner visits and face-to-face interviews

By Megan Hillery
Monday, 13th June 2022, 5:20 pm
The Tollemache Arms public house in Harrington.
The Tollemache Arms public house in Harrington.

A Northamptonshire village pub has been announced as one of six finalists for this year’s The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Licensee of the Year competition.

The Tollemache Arms pub in Harrington was announced as a finalist in the competition, which is regarded as one of the most “rigorous and hard-fought” awards in the pub industry.

Floods of licensee operators entered the competition since its launch in January to demonstrate how they have rebuilt their businesses following the pandemic with a focus on resilience, sustainability and diversification.

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Landlord of The Tollemache Arms, Joe Buckley, said: “It's humbling to be in the final six of a competition we have looked up to and admired for so long.

“Putting The Tolly alongside such incredible pubs and landlords has been a huge ambition of ours.”

This new accolade for The Tollemache Arms follows several recent award wins including being crowned a regional winner at The National Pub & Bar Awards, Best Training Programme – Individual Operator category at the BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards and Best Traditional Food Pub of the Year by Wells & Co in its Pub Partner Awards for 2022.

Mr Buckley continued: “The whole experience has been such a rewarding process, we can't wait to get stuck into the finals and share a few gins with everyone else involved at the Summer Event.”

The six finalists were selected from over 300 entrants on the basis of their community impact, exceptional mystery diner visits, online audits and face-to-face interviews in their pubs with judges Sue Allen and Ashley McCarthy.

The 2022 Licensee of the Year Finalists (sponsored by Sky) are as follows:

Amanda & Nick Hemming – Heron Inn, Truro, TR1 1SL Michael Pearson & Charlotte Salaman – The Wych Elm, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 6HT Joe Buckley & Flo Pearce – Tollemache Arms, Harrington, NN6 9NU Rumit & Tosh Lakhani – The White Horse, Buckover, GL12 8DX Stuart Fox & Julian Crowley – The White Horse, Dover, CT16 1QF James Lyon Shaw – The Greene Oak, Windsor, SL4 5UW

Finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on June 21, where the winner of Licensee of the Year 2022 will be crowned.