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Cambridgeshire pub The Three Hills in Bartlow in the running for National Pub & Bar of the Year

The Three Hills pub in Bartlow, the smallest village in Cambridgeshire, has officially been named as one of the best venues in the East of England and will go on to compete for the title of National Pub & Bar of the Year.

From left, sous chef Charlie Hammer, managing director Emma Harrison and chef Harry Ashcroft. Picture: Keith Heppell
From left, sous chef Charlie Hammer, managing director Emma Harrison and chef Harry Ashcroft. Picture: Keith Heppell

Some 94 pubs and bars across the UK have been selected across a number of categories and will be crowned at a red carpet celebration in London in June. The overall National Pub & Bar of the Year, which was won by Galvin Green Man in Essex in 2021, will be announced.

Asked what it is that makes the Three Hills special, Emma Harrison, managing director, said: “We have fantastic food – we’re one of the Estrella Damm top 50 gastropubs, which we got last year and this year. “But I think what makes us stand out is we’re a lovely, welcoming rural pub that has great food, great accommodation, nice wine list.

“It’s very exciting – it’s always nice to have somebody tell you you’re doing well.” At the event in Euston Square on Wednesday, June 22, 15 regional winners will be announced alongside the overall winner.

“Everybody’s got different criteria – none of us go out for these awards but it’s just really nice if this sort of thing lands on your doorstep,” said Emma. “Times are tough so we’re doing what we can to be the best that we can be, and it’s nice when that gets recognised.”

Like most establishments, The Three Hills suffered a great deal during the pandemic. “That was horrendous,” said Emma. “It was just the stop-start of it all the time and the not knowing. It’s been a really tough time, and in many ways I think this year is going to be even tougher because of all the price increases in everything – not least the whole energy price increases.

“And then you’ve got VAT that’s just gone up again and massive increase in wages – it doesn’t stop. I don’t really know how anybody does it but somehow we’re hanging on.”

The recognition should help to bring more punters in. “Hopefully,” said Emma. “We always get a lot of people in here at the weekend. It would be nice to get more people in during the week – that’s one of the hardest things about running a rural pub. So any awards we can win we are very grateful for.”

For more information on the pub, visit thethreehills.co.uk.

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