Reigate pub wins coveted brewery honour

Reigate's The Prince of Wales pub has won a coveted honour after a big revamp.

The local, once owned by British Rail, standing next to Reigate Station and used in the 19th century to house railway workers, has been named the Turnaround Pub of the Year in the annual Shepherd Neame Pub Awards.

The title win followed licensees Keith and Theresa Wild's decision to give the pub, which dates back to the 1850s, a makeover.

They approached Shepherd Neame, and the brewery gave the go-ahead for the refurbishment last September.

Care was taken to keep the pub’s character and original features, which included repainting inside and out, new furniture, new carpets and new wall furnishings.

The refurbishment also inspired Theresa and Keith, who have been at the pub since 2003, to expand the food on offer there.

Now they are offering an evening menu influenced by the pub’s railway heritage, with the starters section renamed the ‘Waiting Room,’ desserts entitled ‘The End of the Line,’ and take-away hot drinks and pastries under Gateaux Express.

In recognition of their work, Keith and Theresa were presented with £500 and a magnum of Taittinger Champagne.

Theresa said: “The refurbishment didn’t just change the look of the pub, it completely transformed our business. “We are really proud of our achievement, and to have it recognised with this award is amazing.”

The Prince of Wales was among 14 of the brewery’s 348 pubs and hotels across London and the South-east honoured in a ceremony in Ashford recently.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame, who presented the awards, said: “These awards are testimony to the hard work, dedication and creativity of all our licensees and a celebration of excellence in this industry."

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