Pub Cup returns to the town with big support

ANOTHER ROUND: Martin Bryant (left) with Ish Rafet, owner of Saint John’s Yard

AN AWARD for the best pub in the town returns for the first time since Covid in effort to help promote local venues during the cost-of-living crisis.

Martin Bryant, a Kent Police Detective from Tunbridge Wells, started the competition on social media as a “bit of fun” for him and his friends.

He told the Times: “This is the first one I’ve done since the Covid lockdowns. It’s good fun and it’s a nice bit of advertising for local pubs still dealing with the effects of the past three years.

“A few years ago, I saw some polls on Twitter and thought it would be a bit of fun for me and my friends, so I started posting polls on the pubs in the area.

“But then one of my posts was retweeted by Dame Kelly Holmes, and suddenly it blew up and it had tens of thousands of people looking at it, giving it lots of exposure. It sort of grew from there.”

From there, the ‘Best Pub Cup’ was formed using thousands of votes on social media in a knockout-style tournament to determine the best pub in Tunbridge Wells.

Last week, the first round saw 44 pubs competing across 10 groups in the Instagram polls, which halved the numbers down to 22 pubs that will now battle it out in the next round of polls this week.

Some pubs still in the running are the Beau Nash, Cassidy’s, Saint John’s Yard, The Tiger Tavern, Fuggles, The Pantiles Tap, The George, Fonthill Tap Room, Framptons, The George & Dragon and The Duke of York.

The previous three competitions had been won by reigning champions Saint John’s Yard
after thousands of votes were cast in favour of the independent community pub.

“I am looking forward to seeing who wins this year. So far, we have had almost a thousand votes cast just in the first round, so it’s great to see that people are getting involved,” Mr Bryant continued.

“I am doing the polls on Instagram stories as it is easier for everyone to see the results and will hopefully engage more people who will vote for the pubs.”

The winner will be announced in the next couple of weeks where they will receive an engraved trophy with a little trophy presentation by Mr Bryant.

To have your vote in Tunbridge Wells’ Best Pub Cup and keep up with the lastest stories, follow @bestpubcup on Instagram

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