A trio of licensed premises did Berwickshire proud last Thursday, March 2, in the Best Bar None Awards, held in the Buccleuch Arms Hotel, St Boswells.
Oblo in Eyemouth outdid themselves with a gold award, while the Black Bull Hotel in Duns and the Allanton Inn both earned silver.
They joined 15 other pubs and clubs in the central Borders in gaining awards, which are given to premises that meet criteria covering the five key elements of the Licensing Scotland Act of 2005.
Oblo barman/waiter Shaun Johnston told us: “We won the silver award last year, so it was fantastic to receive the gold this year.
“It’s something we strive for every year, to improve what we do.”
The other gold award winners are: Kings Arms Hotel, Melrose; The Horse and Hound, Bonchester Bridge; Innerleithen Union Club; Barony Castle Hotel, Eddleston; Hunters Hall, Galashiels; The Bourtree, Hawick; and The Cobbles, Rutherfords Micropub, the Queen’s Head and the Waggon Inn – all four of which are in Kelso.
There other silver awards were presented to the Liddesdale Hotel, Newcastleton and Warehouse, Galashiels, while bronze awards went to Grapevine, Galashiels; The County Hotel, Selkirk; and the hosts, Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells.
Councillor Donald Moffat, who is Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Best Bar None continues to grow in the Borders, with a record number of winners this year.
“This shows that our licensed premises understand the benefits of the scheme and are able to show they are meeting consistently high standards.
PC Nick Walker of the Scottish Borders Safer Community Team, and local Best Bar None leader, said: “Best Bar None is a great opportunity for premises and partner agencies in the region to work together in order to maintain safe and welcoming licensed venues.
“The 2017 scheme will launch in the spring and I would encourage all local licensed premises to take part.”
Pamela Turner of the Black Bull said: “It’s really nice to get some recognition for the work we have put in, and it’s a good thing for the community.”
And Allanton Inn owner William Reynolds, picking up his second silver award, told us: “It affirms the fact that we are recognised for running a safe establishment.”