South Norfolk Council’s Pub of the Year competition winner announced

The White Lion, in Wheatacre, has been named Pub of the Year in South Norfolk Council's competition

The White Lion, in Wheatacre, has been named Pub of the Year in South Norfolk Council's competition - Credit: Archant

A Beccles pub has been named as the best in the area after seeing off fiercy competition, just a year after reopening.

The White Lion, in Wheatacre, was named Pub of the Year in South Norfolk Council's competition, earning £500 to put towards a community event.

Landlord Jay Meades, who had never ran a pub before, reopened the rural pub last November and, since then, has seen customers travelling for miles to sample the food and atmosphere.

He said: 'This is just fantastic news and I would like to thank my whole team and all of the customers who nominated us.

'I was working off shore as an electrical engineer, but was also running an events company that catered for weddings.

'I had always had a soft spot for the pub and could see the place had huge potential.

'We have something for everyone, whether you are fresh from a dog walk with muddy boots and looking for a bite to eat in the bar by the fire, or would like an intimate meal in our restaurant.'

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South Norfolk councillor Keith Kiddie praised the pub for their efforts in their first few months.

He said: 'Thank you to everyone who voted in the competition. It just goes to show how much people value their local pub.

'We had some excellent category winners and it was a tough decision but, in the end, we were so impressed by how far the White Lion had come in just a year since it opened.

'Huge congratulations to landlord Jay Meades. His dedication and determination have resulted in a wonderful pub that can be enjoyed by the whole community.'

Nearly 1,000 people voted in the competition, which is now into its tenth year.

As well as the pub of the year award, the pub was also handed an award for offering the best customer service.

The announcement was made on Monday at a special early morning award ceremony held at last year's winning pub, The Green Dragon in Wymondham.

The pub was also celebrating again after winning the Tastiest Food and Drink category.

Other winnings include The Burston Crown for outstanding community focus, and Netherton House, in Long Stratton, for being the most family friendly.