Woking Best Bar None returns to find the best licensed premises

The search is on to find the borough’s best licensed premises, as Woking Best Bar None accreditation and awards scheme was launched at lead sponsor, Asahi UK’s, Woking head office (Tuesday 21 May).

Woking Best Bar None Launch
Mick McDonnell (Best Bar None UK), Tom Harding (Asahi UK) and Cllr Kevin Davis (Woking Borough Council) at the Woking Best Bar None 2019 Launch (21 May 2019)

Pubs, bars and restaurants from across the borough are encouraged to apply to the accreditation scheme and work towards being recognised as Woking’s best.

Best Bar None is a national accreditation and awards scheme supported by the Home Office and the drinks industry. The scheme aims to promote the responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises that support Woking’s vibrant and diverse night-time economy, whilst strengthening partnership working between licensed premises and public bodies.

To become Woking Best Bar None accredited, licensed premises must first apply through an assessment process to determine whether they meet an agreed set of operational standards. Once assessed, they will become either a Gold, Silver or Bronze Woking Best Bar None accredited venue.

All licensed premises that receive Gold accreditation have the chance to become ‘best in category’ at the glittering Woking Best Bar None Awards evening, chosen by an independent panel of judges. In addition, members of the public have the opportunity vote for their favourite venue via the Woking News and Mail People’s Choice Award. 

The seven award categories are:

  • Overall Best Barn None
  • Woking News & Mail’s Peoples’ Choice
  • Best Town Centre Pub
  • Best Local
  • Best Bar
  • Best Dining Experience
  • Asahi UK Social Responsibility Award

Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “Woking Best Bar None is a fantastic initiative that’s aimed at improving standards in licensed venues across the Borough to help create a vibrant, thriving and safe environment for both customers and venues.

“Following the success of last year’s scheme, where 11 licensed premises achieved gold accreditation, I would encourage all local pubs, bars and restaurants to apply for Woking Best Bar None.

“Achieving accreditation, either Gold, Silver or Bronze, demonstrates the seriousness and commitment with which you operate your business – it’s a superb way to build your reputation both publicly and within the trade.”

Licensed premises can sign up to Woking Best Bar None now.

Cheers to the winners of Woking Best Bar None Awards

Gold plaques gleamed in celebration of Woking’s top venues at the Best Bar None Awards, held at the WWF Living Planet Centre on Tuesday 16 October 2018.

Sponsored by Asahi UK Ltd and supported by the Woking News & Mail, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Best Bar None recognises premises in Woking that are great places for all residents of the Borough to enjoy an evening out.

Woking Best Bar None Winners
Winners of 2018 Woking Best Bar None Awards.
From left to right; The Red Lion, The Cricketers, The Sovereigns, The Mayor of Woking Cllr Will Forster, Cellar Magneval, The Garibaldi and David Munro, Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

Best Bar None winner’s list 2018

All of the 17 participating bars, pubs and restaurants were assessed by qualified Best Bar None assessors to judge how well they met licensing, safety and responsible retailing criteria. Points were awarded for steps taken to prevent crime and disorder; plans for ensuring public safety; dealing with public nuisance like noise, litter and waste; and demonstrating steps to protect children from harm, such as having a robust proof of age policy in place.

All venues that met the Woking Best Bar None criteria were then permitted to display a gold, silver or bronze sticker in their premises window. An independent panel of judges then chose the cream of the crop to be awarded the prestigious title of Best in Category.

Patrons were also given the opportunity to show their appreciation to their favourite establishment by voting for them in the Woking News & Mail People’s Choice Award. Voters were entered into a free prize draw to win a weekend away for two in a luxury hotel in Dartmoor National Park or a runner up prize of £100 of vouchers to spend in any two Best Bar None award winning pubs of their choice.

Attending the awards ceremony were Cllr Debbie Harlow, Chair of Woking Borough Council’s Licensing Committee, Mayor of Woking, Cllr Will Forster, Cllr Kevin Davis, Mike Randels, Finance Director of Asahi UK, Dr David Munro, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey and Catherine Richardson, President of Woking Chamber of Commerce. The evening was hosted by Mick McDonnell, National co-ordinator for Best Bar None.

Congratulating the winners, Cllr Debbie Harlow, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Thank you to every licensed premises across the Borough that took part in these awards and my warmest congratulations to the winners.

“The awards are more significant than simply identifying the best establishments to visit, they acknowledge the huge contribution that these bars, pubs and eateries make to the leisure and night time economy of the Borough.

“Whether a winning establishment or not, simply by participating in the scheme, our licensees and their teams are helping to ensure that the Borough remains a safe, responsible place to live, work and play.”

For further information about Woking Best Bar None,please contact Woking Best Bar None’s team on 01483 743487 or email businessliaison@woking.gov.uk