The top movers and shakers of the UK drinks industry gathered last night in London to hear the results of the Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards 2018.
The nominees were voted for by Imbibe magazine’s readers in record-breaking numbers and the shortlist included the highest calibre of UK on-trade professionals.
Tim Bird, co-founder of Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars picked up the award for Pub Personality of the Year.
Imbibe editor, Chris Losh, commented: ‘Tim has worked in the industry for over 35 years, and since he’s saved many pubs from closure in that time, it’s safe to say the UK’s pub scene would not have been the same without him.
‘He’s proved himself amazing at running everything from big pub groups to small independents, and, for the last seven years, his own group of country pubs and Inns. This passion for the industry is exactly what Imbibe Magazine is all about’.
Judges for the competition included restaurateur George Bergier, the Connaught Bar’s Ago Perrone, Michelin-starred chef Adam Byatt, Northcote’s Craig Bancroft, Gin Journey’s Leon Dalloway, Beer Belle Annabel Smith, Mixology Group’s Myles Cunliffe and the Imbibe editorial team.
Imbibe launched the Personality of the Year Awards in 2011 and previous winners have included Heston Blumenthal, Ronan Sayburn MS, Thinking Drinkers, Alex Kratena, Christine Parkinson, Xavier Rousset MS, Dee Davies, Lyndon Higginson, Stuart McCluskey, Salvatore Calabrese, Laura Rhys MS, Thomas Decan, the Galvin Brothers and Jake Burger, as well as many other on-trade professionals.
The 2018 awards were presented on Monday 12th February at Mahiki Kensington.
Launched in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has rapidly become the UK’s leading magazine for on-trade drinks professionals working in premium UK establishments. Imbibe is a quarterly magazine, with more than 20,000 drinks buyers and servers in the UK receiving a copy. Copies are available upon request.
Imbibe Magazine is the UK’s leading drinks magazine and tonight at their annual awards in London our owner Tim was chosen as ‘Pub Personality of the Year 2018’.
Tim was up against some of the pub industry’s top talent on the night, but the judges not only looked at Tim’s vast experience in the industry but particularly the success of Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars, Tim’s company that he operates with his wife and business partner Mary McLaughlin. They have taken pubs that were either closed or close to closure and through their restoration have created one of the best small pub companies in the UK!
On winning this prestigious award, Tim thanked the team at Cheshire Cat…..”I have had many proud moments in my career but nothing has made me prouder than the achievement of our pubs. Starting our own business was the best thing we have ever done and tonight I share this award with Mary and the Cheshire Cat team! I would like to thank Imbibe Magazine for giving me one of the proudest moments in my career! I look forward to celebrating with the team!”
It’s that time of year again! The Red Lion Lifeboat Day! When the crew of the Weymouth Lifeboat got competitive and baked off against each other.
13 ‘lucky for some’ entrants battled it out. Brian, Mary and Tim were the judges again, marking the bakers on four key areas…..Link to Christmas, taste, technical difficulty and originality!
In fourth place was the ginger bread life boat completed by Chaloner, in third place was the amazing rice crispy turkey and Christmas pud by Lil.
In second was the dome cake by Kev.
In first place was Jules and her amazing Christmas cake with a difference! It was the taste that really won it for Jules ….delicious! It was unanimous!
The crew celebrated back at the Red Lion where the annual cheque was presented to Coxswain Andy for £600
By The MA, 16-Mar-2017
Pioneering food couple Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin have used their vast experience in the foodservice sector to build their growing fleet of seven food-led pubs. Read More
Weymouth RNLI were presented with their cheque for £600 by Brian and Luke of the Red Lion. The cheque was gratefully received by Weymouth Lifeboat coxswain Andy on behalf of the entire Lifeboat team! 6000 pints of Lifeboat bitter were served in the year contributing 10p per pint to the RNLI.
LIFEBOAT DAY 2016 AT THE RED LION
We raised more than £600 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) through the sale of our Lifeboat Bitter. The cheque was presented to the RNLI on Tuesday 6th December during a special evening dedicated to the Weymouth Crew.
The money was raised through the sales of our Lifeboat Bitter. 6000 pints were sold over the last year and 10p from every pint was donated to the charity. To mark the occasion members of the Weymouth Crew also competed in a ‘Lifeboat Bake Off’ style competition that Red Lion owners, Brian, Tim and Mary, judged.
Tim Bird, co-owner of the Red Lion commented; “We think it’s crucial to support such a local and worthy cause year in, year out. It’s always thrilling when we raise more money than the previous year and couldn’t think of a better cause for the proceeds to be donated to. We always encourage our customers to enjoy a pint of Lifeboat Bitter when they visit the Red Lion, to show their support to the brave volunteers.”
John Harvey, lifeboat operations manager, comments: “Our volunteers designate their time to the local community’s safety at sea and are thrilled to have annual support from such a great local pub. What better way is there to raise money than through a great pint of bitter? All of our volunteers are grateful for every penny raised, as it really does save lives.”
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. The institution is on call 24-hours a day and provides lifeboat search and rescue services around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service. The RNLI was established in 1824 and since then has saved more than 140,000 lives at sea.
Here are the pictures of the Weymouth Lifeboat Crew’s great Christmas Bake Off!!!
The Cheque Presentation and the winning baker!!
Lifeboat Day 2015 at the Red Lion
For the fourth year (how time flies) Lifeboat day was celebrated at the Red Lion as members of the Weymouth Life Boat crew returned one year later for a drink and some ‘Seafood boards’.
The occasion was the annual presentation of the cheque from Brian at the Red Lion to the Weymouth RNLI this year for £570 all from each pint of lifeboat bitter sold which amounts to 5700 pints of Lifeboat bitter being sold.
Sadly Andy the Coxswain was away so other crew members picked up the cheque on behalf of the Weymouth RNLI and were very grateful for the continuing close links between the Red Lion and the Weymouth RNLI.
Every November we celebrate with the crew and ensure more and more pints of Life Boat bitter are sold to help these great volunteers.
Cheers to the Weymouth RNLI
Lifeboat Day 2014 at the Red Lion
For the third year Lifeboat day was celebrated at the Red Lion as members of the Weymouth Life Boat crew came for a drink (for some it may have been a couple!) and some nibbles.
The occasion was the annual presentation of the cheque from the Red Lion to the Weymouth RNLI for a staggering £530 all from ten pence pieces collected for each pint of lifeboat bitter sold.
While some of you may think this is not a huge amount it is 5300 pints of Lifeboat bitter and when you think of the popularity of beers such as Doom Bar and Jurassic here at the Red Lion this truly is a good ‘score’ for the lifeboat and Lifeboat Bitter too!
It was also an occasion when owner Tim personally donated £100 on behalf of his late Aunt, Moyra Parker, who passed away earlier this year and asked that donations be made to the RNLI. So Tim waited for ‘Lifeboat day’ at the Red Lion to make his donation in Moyra’s memory.
As always Andy the Coxswain picked up the cheque (and Tim’s £100 in cash) on behalf of the Weymouth Crew and was very grateful for the close links between the Red Lion and the Weymouth RNLI. A photo is framed each year and hung in the pub to mark ‘Life Boat’ Day and this year is no different.
Every November we celebrate with the crew and ensure more and more pints of Life Boat bitter are sold to help these great volunteers.
Owner Tim made a short speech thanking the crew as always for supporting the pub and most importantly for the work they do.
Commemorative Picture takes pride of Place!!
The first signed photograph from the Weymouth Lifeboat Crew was framed and hung from the rum barrel wall in the pub. Each year a photo will be signed by the crew, framed and hung in the Red Lion to commemorate the ‘Red Lion Life Boat Day’ which is held every November in honour of the brave crew and the pubs attachment to the Weymouth Lifeboat historically!!
It is a tradition to present the money raised over the year by the sales of our very own lifeboat bitter!! So if you want to help the RNLI buy a pint when you are in and have a look at the many pictures around the pub.
There is a lot of loyalty and history between the Red Lion Pub and the Weymouth lifeboat and the brave lifeboat men who serve on her. When you visit the pub you will see old pictures of the crews and the life boats that have served over the years. As the proprietors of the Red Lion we are very proud of the history and know that this is an important pub to lifeboat crews past and present….it is their pub and it carries a lot of their famous history. In honour of this connection Lifeboat Ale has been brewed and put on the bar for everyone to enjoy. For every pint we sell 10p will go to the R.N.L.I and we will present the ‘cheque’ annually on what will be known as ‘Red Lion Lifeboat day’!!
More details will follow on what we hope will become a legendary day of recognition for the lifesaving efforts of our crew.
Lifeboat bitter is a light hoppy beer, easy to drink and not too strong…so ‘sea legs’ aren’t necessary!!! Come in and enjoy a pint and support the R.N.L.I!!!
Weymouth Lifeboat for all to see.
If you turn left out of the Red Lion and head towards the harbour then go right and follow the pathway with the harbour on your left and you will arrive at the Lifeboat mooring. We can’t always guarantee it will be there as it may well be out at sea saving someone!!
The Weymouth Yacht Club is situated close by too and there is an RNLI gift shop which has great gifts
for all the family which all help raise money for the lifeboat.
The views down the harbour are lovely and the lifeboat sits quite majestically as other boats pass by on their way in or out of this natural harbour.
Come and see it for yourselves and then return to the Red Lion for a pint of cask ale and some crispy Whitebait.
RNLI day at the Red Lion!!
It will come to be known as ‘Lifeboat day’ here at the Red Lion!!! 20 or so members of the Weymouth Life Boat came to the Red Lion for a drink (for some it may have been a couple!) and some nibbles. The occasion was the
presentation of a cheque from the Red Lion to the Weymouth RNLI for £400.00. While some of you may think this is not a huge amount it was purely the money raised from the sale of our house beer ‘Life Boat Bitter’ where 10p a
pint is collected for the RNLI.
The readers good at maths will realise since February 2012 when we opened our newly restored pub we have sold 4000 pints and when you think of the popularity of beers such as Doom Bar and Jurassic here at the Red Lion this truly is a good ‘score’ for the lifeboat and Lifeboat Bitter too.
Andy the Coxswain picked up the cheque on behalf of the crew and this for us, here at the Red Lion, marked the close link between the pub and the lifeboat crew here in Weymouth. A photo will be framed each year and hung in
the pub to mark ‘Life Boat’ Day at the Red Lion. Every November we will celebrate with the crew and ensure more and more pints of Life Boat bitter are sold to help these volunteers.
Landlord Brian was on hand to present the cheque after owner Tim made a short speech thanking the crew for supporting the pub and most importantly for the work they do. So next year come down to the Red Lion and applaud the crew and share a few anecdotes and a rum or two.
Cheshire Cat Pub and Bars, has been named as ‘Pub Group of the Year 2016/17’ by the prestigious Good Pub Guide. The award follows a string of successes for the company over the year including being chosen as the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the Publican Awards in London.
The Good Pub Guide is the number one selling guide book for pubs in the UK. This award is given from the guide to pub groups that are first rate in every way and run by people who really care about both their pubs and their customers. The 2017 Good Pub Guide will feature over 5,000 pubs demonstrating just how stiff the competition is.
Owner Tim Bird comments: “This is a true accolade and we are very, very proud indeed. This award will mean the world to our entire team and our customers, as it recognises our teams huge efforts in helping us run wonderfully individual pubs well. It also recognises our collective efforts in rescuing pubs that were previously closed down or lost causes. Our pubs and Inns now shine brightly for our many loyal customers to enjoy for many years to come”.
The pub group was chosen by Fiona Stapeley, editor of the Good Pub Guide, and were marked on a range of criteria from the quality of service to product range, aesthetic design and the pub’s hospitality.
“The pubs have a great deal of individuality both in their décor, their choice of drinks, their food and their atmosphere,” says Fiona. “These pubs have consistently good feedback from all our readers. As I edit the book it becomes obvious which group of pubs really stand out head and shoulders above the others. Of course competition is stiff, but this year it was a straight-forward choice for me.”
Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars is owned and operated by Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, who have a collection of award winning pubs across Cheshire, Staffordshire and Dorset. Earlier this year the group were voted the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the prestigious Publican Awards ceremony in London. Their Church Inn won the coveted award of ‘UK’s Best Pub’ this summer, as well as their Fitzherbert Arms in Staffordshire scooping Sawday’s ‘Best Newcomer’.
As the rain fell and the wind blew on Sunday morning we thought maybe Rum Fest might be a damp squib!
We persevered setting up the outside Rum Bar, barbecue, and gazebo for our Reggae band the MadHatters and by our 2pm start time the wind was dropping, the rain was stopping and the reggae and rum fest kicked off.
We couldn’t have expected such a brilliant turnout. Making Rum Fest one of the biggest Sunday’s in Red Lion history!
It was of course the Red Lions 165th birthday too so a great reason for a celebration..
Sarah our Red Lion Deputy did a wonderful job setting up the Rum Fest bar and with Steve on the BBQ and the MadHatters on song it turned out to be a great day!
We look forward to seeing you all again next August Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday 2017.
Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars, who own and operate The Cholmondeley Arms on the Cholmondeley estate, The Bulls Head and Church Inn in Mobberley, the Three Greyhounds Inn in Allostock, the Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton and the Red Lion in Weymouth, Dorset, has been voted the company with the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the prestigious Publican Awards ceremony in London.
Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars beat a number of national chains to the title, drawing high praise from the judges for supporting cask ales from local brewers. The company was also awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ title in the Best Food Offer category.
Each pub within the collection specializes in a particular drink with The Cholmondeley Arms boasting more than 300 gins, the Red Lion offering more than 80 rums and the Fitzherbert Arms offering over 30 Ports by the bottle. Whiel the Bulls Head, Three Greyhounds Inn and the Church have enviable collections of Whisky, Brandy and wine respectfully.
Tim Bird, owner of the unique collection of village pubs and country inns, comments: “These awards are equivalent to the drinks industry’s ‘Oscars’ and it is fantastic that our pubs and our teams has been recognized in this way. The award recognises the hard work that the team puts in and how we work with local breweries, suppliers and food producers to bring a memorable and unique experience to our customers everyday.”
Ed Bebbington, of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, comments: “This is a company that puts a lot of time and thought into getting its drink offer right, from its superb focus on local, great beers, through to an impressive offer of wines and spirits.”
Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, owners of Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars, have already won numerous awards for restoring pubs of great heritage and character and are now focused on the Roebuck Inn, also in Mobberley which after three years of closure is set to open in April.
For further information on Cheshire Cat Pubs and its collection of pubs, please visit www.cheshirecatpubsandbars.co.uk.