Britain's Greatest Pub Landlords

Even if you’re in a motorway chain pub and eating a microwaved pork pie with your drink, a good landlord can make you feel as if you’re hanging out in a village that has won prizes for its flower displays. Here's our favourite landlords...
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Even if you’re in a motorway chain pub and eating a microwaved pork pie with your drink, a good landlord can make you feel as if you’re hanging out in a village that has won prizes for its flower displays. Here's our favourite landlords...

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Whether you’re a 10 minute drive from your nearest neighbour or can’t make a cup of coffee in the morning without the kid next door watching and Tweeting about it, everyone has moments when they feel a bit isolated. In need of quality company. A bit of chat from a good, wise mate who knows how you like your gin and tonic and keeps their front room tidier than your own. And that’s where the pub landlord comes in.

Even if you’re in a motorway chain pub and eating a microwaved pork pie with your drink, a good landlord can make you feel as if you’re hanging out in a village that has won prizes for its flower displays. They make you feel as looked after as your Dad and your Mum combined, and they never ask awkward questions about when you’re going to get a proper job or give them grandchildren.

A truly great landlord has interpersonal skills that are the envy of therapists worldwide. You might be dealing with a major dilemma - anything from whether you should get a tracker mortgage, whether your partner is having an affair or whether you want nuts or crisps with your drink. Your landlord won’t tell you the answer. They will ask all the right questions, and when they guide you to finding the conclusion, they will smile at you and make you feel as wise as Solomon, Jeremy Paxman and Yoda. Combined.

They make you feel as looked after as your Dad and your Mum combined, and they never ask awkward questions about when you’re going to get a proper job.

Where does this mysterious ability come from?  The average landlord is people watching all day and has the sort of memory for detail that would be an asset during the conveyor belt of prizes on the Generation Game. (In fact, they can probably remember all the different cuddly toys that have ever appeared on the programme.)

Not all pubs will have the perfect landlord, but British people are nothing if not tenacious when it comes to seeking one out. Your local isn’t necessarily the pub that’s nearest your house - it’s the place where the person pouring pints knows how to make you feel at home.

Here’s some landlords we love

  • Brad at The Ship in Winchelsea Beach
  • Gerry O’Boyle at The Boogaloo in Highgate
  • Rob Clayton at The Shipley Pride in Bradford
  • Lawrence at Ragged Trousers in Tunbridge Wells
  • Mike at The George in Soho
  • Iain at The Northern Monkey in Leeds
  • Dave at The Station Gates in Lincolnshire
  • Don at The Great Northern in Thackley
  • Ralph at The Falcon in Armcliffe
  • Tony at The Dripping Well in Hastings
  • James at The Pipe and Glass in South Dalton
  • Merlin at The Priory Tavern in Kilburn

Who’s your favourite pub landlord and why?

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