The Wiltshire pub has been named the best in the South West

The Bell & Crown at Zeals near Warminster was honored at the 2023 National Pub & Bar of the Year Awards ceremony in London on Wednesday (28 June).

It is just one of 15 pubs and bars across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to scoop up the prestigious regional winner’s title.

Co-owner Ethan Davids, 29, of the Salisbury-based Chickpea Group, said: “We are absolutely delighted. This is awesome. We are very happy.

“Our team at the pub all but destroy it. The people who work there are amazing.”

The pub’s general manager Zoe Guild and head chef Jamie McDougall won the award for Bell & Crown, which was also named ‘Pub of the Year by The Times/Sunday Times’ guide to the best pubs in England.

Salisbury Journal: The Bell & Crown at Zeals has been named the best in the Southwest.

Mr Davids runs the Chickpea Group pub chain with his sister Jordan Davids, 27, and their business partner Tommy Tullis, 29, and took on Bell & Crown in 2019.

They opened the pub in January 2020 after an extensive renovation and refurbishment programme. All six of its rooms opened in April last year.

Chickpea Group also owns Pembroke Arms in Wilton, Grosvenor Arms in Hindon, Dog & Gun in Netheravon and Queen’s Head in Broad Chalke.

Salisbury Journal: The Bell & Crown has a reputation for warm hospitality and great food and drink.The Bell & Crown has a reputation for warm hospitality and great food and drink. (Image: Chickpea Group)

Bell & Crown is located just off the A303 and in April was named the best in Wiltshire by an awards jury.

The former training inn is among 94 pubs and bars across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland competing for regional and national titles.

It is ideally located for guests to visit nearby attractions such as Longleat House and Safari Park, Stourhead House & Gardens, Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral.

Salisbury Journal: One of six rental rooms at the Bell & Crown in Zeals.One of six rental rooms at the Bell & Crown in Zeals. (Image: Chickpea Group)

The pub has six letting rooms and an outdoor dining area which is covered by a large awning. On Tripadvisor, The Bell & Crown has a current rating of 4.5.

The 2023 National Pub & Bar of the Year Awards aim to highlight positive and inspiring work being done across the UK hospitality industry.

They are sponsored by Heineken, ICRTouch, Kerrymaid, Lamb Weston, Loomis, Majestic Commercial, Mission Foods, Schweppes and Value for Venues.

The Running Horses in Mickleham was named National Pub & Bar of the Year, after judges praised the venue for its high quality food and drink, meticulous attention to detail and first-class hospitality.

The 2023 National Pub & Bar Awards winners are:

  • National Pub & Bar of the Year – The Running Horses, Surrey
  • East Midlands – The Tollemache Arms, Northamptonshire
  • East England – Three Hills, Cambridgeshire
  • London – Barley Mow, Mayfair, Greater London
  • Northeast – Three Mile, Tyne and Wear
  • Northwest – Swans in Marbury, Cheshire
  • Northern Ireland – Hearth, Antrim
  • North West Scotland – Tigh An Truish, Argyll and Bute
  • North East Scotland – Criterion, Flute
  • South East Scotland – The Scan & Scallie, City of Edinburgh
  • Southwest Scotland – The Electric Bar, North Lanarkshire
  • Southeast – The Running Horses, Surrey
  • Southwest – Bell & Crown, Wiltshire
  • Wales – Old Building 1147, Mid Glamorgan
  • West Midlands – Red Lion, Long Compton, Warwickshire
  • Yorkshire and Humber – The Fat Badger, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
  • Pub Chef of the Year – Chris Fordham-Smith, The Barley Mow, Mayfair
  • Pub Brand of the Year – Beech House
  • Best Bar Brand of the Year – BrewDog Waterloo
  • Heineken UK Sustainable Pub of the Year – The Tollemache Arms, Northamptonshire.


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