The tenants of the Swan Inn in Hoxne say they are “over the moon” to receive a prestigious Pub of the Year award, just over a year after reopening following a long closure.
The Low Street-based pub, which dates its origins back to 1480, has been selected as the Pub of the Year for North Suffolk by Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale.
The business had only recently celebrated its first anniversary of being run by husband-and-wife team Darren and Angela Turner when they found out they had won.
They entered the licensed trade for the first time when they re-opened the Swan on St Patrick’s Day last year, after 18 months of closure.
The couple attributes the award to the “brilliant support” they have had from people in the area from the day they began.
“We are absolutely over the moon, especially to be voted in in our first year,” Mr Turner told the Diss Express.
“The community has been superb. It’s gone from strength to strength.
“I think the biggest thing is making the pub feel welcome and making it a community pub.
“We treat our customers as our friends.”
The couple, who are originally from Yorkshire and have two children, twins Ben and Beth, vowed the inn would not be closing under their watch, having identified the pub years earlier as the kind of place they would like to run.
Mr Turner, formerly an operations director at newspaper and magazine wholesalers Smiths News, explained he and Angela had endeavoured to re-establish the Swan in the village as a community events venue, hosting small concerts, beer festivals and charity events.
The Swan also hosts a buskers’ evening for local musicians on Thursdays.
Mr Turner said they hope to build on this strategy for their second year by holding more private functions and theatre productions.
A special one-off Music Day, in association with the Hoxne Music Festival, is also planned.
“It’s these sort of things that show we are open to the community, and it’s a nice, friendly atmosphere in a lovely area,” he added.
For further information about the Swan Inn in Hoxne, visit the pub’s website at www.swaninnhoxne.co.uk or contact 01379 668275.