TWO local pubs have scooped awards from the Kent brewery Shepherd Neame. The Bull in Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells has received the accolade for Best Pub Food in the annual Pub Awards, while The Foresters in Quarry Hill, Tonbridge was named Turnaround Pub of the Year.

Judges praised the quality of food and service that makes The Bull, run by Alexander and Rebecca Johnson stand out, praising the ‘innovative use of seasonal ingredients’ and ‘beautiful presentation’.

Jonathan Neame, Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, said: “Alexander and Rebecca and their team have made the pub a real gem and a great food destination, a huge congratulations to them for this richly deserved award.”

Mr Johnson said: “We’re delighted! This award will really help our business. We’re about to undertake some significant work outside of the pub, with support from the brewery. Together with this award, we hope this will put us on the map in Tunbridge Wells.”

The adjudication panel also had high praise for The Foresters licensee Tyson Marshall, saying: “Tyson took over The Foresters in March 2016 and immediately started to stamp his personality on the pub.

“Within a matter of months the Foresters was considered one the best venues in Tonbridge and the pub continues to go from strength to strength with a very friendly atmosphere and staff.”

Mr Neame added: “Tyson’s done a great job at the Foresters, totally transforming the atmosphere, and this accolade is truly well-deserved.”

Mr Marshall said: “It’s a fantastic award and very much appreciated. We couldn’t have imagined the success that we’ve had and it’s all down to being given a great opportunity by Shepherd Neame.”

The awards were announced at a ceremony at the Conningbrook Hotel, Ashford on June 20. The two West Kent taverns were among 13 winners from Shepherd Neame’s 328 pubs and hotels.