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18th October 2022

Guildford crowns the town’s Best Bar None winners

Guildford’s pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants celebrated the return of the town’s Best Bar None Awards at the Electric Theatre on Wednesday 12th October, following a two-year absence due to Covid. Delivered by Experience Guildford, the town centre’s Business Improvement District, the nationally acclaimed awards celebrate best practice amongst the licensed trade, showcasing the hard work and commitment of Guildford’s venues to create and run safe, responsible, and inviting town centre evening economy businesses.

A total of 34 venues gained Best Bar None accreditation across nine key categories, covering national and independent operators across the bar, pub, restaurant, late night venue and entertainment sectors. Each venue was assessed and judged by an expert panel on their delivery of four set operational criteria to select individual category winners. The assessment criteria included:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Protection of children from harm

An overall Guildford Best Bar None winner was also announced and this venue then goes on to represent the town in the national Annual Best Bar None Awards held at the House of Lords.

Late night venue, Casino, was crowned Best Bar None overall winner and also picked up the award for Best Late Night Venue (large).

Commenting on their win, Ian Forward, General Manager at Casino says;

“It’s absolutely fantastic to have won both awards this evening, and it’s testament to all the hard work of the team at Casino, demonstrating that our continued collaboration with Pub Watch, Experience Guildford and the Council’s licensing team has paid off. We’re really grateful.

“These awards are such a benefit to the town and to the people who come here for a night out. They’re a stamp of approval to confirm that the venues are operating safely, and that all the national schemes to ensure public safety are being adhered to here in Guildford.”

The Star Inn and The Guildford Tup scooped Best Pub National and Independent, Best Bar went to The Jubilee Club (Independent) and The Rodboro Buildings (National), the Best Restaurant categories were won by Tattam’s (Independent) and Turtle Bay (National), and GLive claimed Best Entertainment Venue.

A special Outstanding Contribution to the Evening & Late-Night Economy award was also presented to Ben Pitt, Guildford Street Angels Co-ordinator, to recognise the influence that he and his team of volunteers have in keeping evening revellers safe in the town. Pitt says:

“The partnership working model that we have here in Guildford is really positive. We work closely with all of the town’s venues to ensure that anyone in need during a night out receives our help. We’re here to make sure that people stay safe whilst in the town, and get home safely too, and the great relationship we have with door staff and managers of our late night venues is paramount to this.

“Best Bar None is an important demonstration of the huge impact that can be made to the safety of the town through the collaboration of so many involved parties. Street Angels is proud to be one of those partners, and I am more than grateful to have won this award on behalf of all of our volunteers.”

Helping to present the awards, Sylvia Oates, National Best Bar None Co-Ordinator commended Guildford on its ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting a safe night-time economy and the strong partnership links that had been established between supporting organisations, saying:

“Experience Guildford have delivered one of the longest running Best Bar None schemes in the country, and consistently demonstrate how excellent partnership working can make a real difference to the safety of the town, and the prosperity of its night time economy.

“Best Bar None has a number of key benefits to a town centre. It ensures that everyone feels looked after, it champions the safety of women and girls, and the safety of workers at night, and it conveys a very positive message to the public that the town and its venues take everyone’s safety and wellbeing seriously.

“From a venues perspective, Best Bar None offers operators the chance to work collaboratively with a range of key partners involved with the town’s night time economy, and to also receive expert and free advice from external assessors in terms of what they already have in place and what they could do to enhance their customers and the town’s safety at night.”

Pete Lambert, Town Safety and Venue Liaison Manager, Experience Guildford adds:

“We’re delighted to see the return of the Best Bar None Awards, and to have had more operators than ever put themselves forward for accreditation. Yet again, our licensed venues have stepped up to the mark, assuring both the Best Bar None assessors and the public of a safe and welcoming night out in the town.

“Experience Guildford has long supported Best Bar None, and we’d like to thank all of the town’s operators and the partners that work collaboratively with us on the scheme, including Guildford Borough Council, Guildford Pubwatch, Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue and Purple Flag, along with community charity groups such as Street Angels. Thanks also to Hogs Back Brewery and Wessex Distillery for their support in making the evening such a great success.”

For more information on Guildford’s Best Bar None Awards and other initiatives to enhance and promote Guildford’s night time economy visit




Top Left – Outstanding Contribution to the Evening & Late Night Economy – Ben Pitt from Guildford Street Angels (Presented by Pete Lambert, Town Safety and Venue Liaison Manager, Experience Guildford)

Top Right – Best Pub National – The Star Inn (Presented by Sylvia Oates, National Best Bar None Co-Ordinator)

Bottom Left – Overall Best Bar None Winner – Casino (Presented by Jane Lyons, Chair of Guildford Pubwatch)

Bottom Right – Best Restaurant National – Turtle Bay (Presented by Councillor Maddy Redpath)

Experience Guildford

Experience Guildford is the Business Improvement District representing retail and leisure businesses within Guildford town centre. Launched in February 2013, it consists of over 550 levy payers who have come together to decide and manage any additional improvements they want to make to the town centre. Working with the town’s retail and leisure sector, Experience Guildford has created a cohesive business plan that aims to serve the town across four main project areas:

  • Marketing, Promotion & Events
  • Safe, Clean & Welcoming
  • Access & Car Parking
  • Business Support

Now in its second 5-year term, Experience Guildford was re-voted in by BID members following a 2nd ballot held in October 2017. Following this success, a new 5-year business plan was rolled out from February 2018 to ensure that Guildford remains a thriving and successful town centre.

Best Bar None Scheme

Supported by the Home Office, the Best Bar None scheme aims to reward venues who consistently go the extra mile to safeguard customers and reduce alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour. The scheme, now adopted by more than 100 towns and cities across the UK, has become a benchmark amongst operators, promoting responsible operation and management within the licensed trade.

Winners of the 2022 Guildford Best Bar None Awards included:

Overall Best Bar None Winner – Casino (Presented by Jane Lyons, Chair of Guildford Pubwatch)

Best Bar Restaurant/Café Independent – Tattam’s (Presented by Nick Chinn, Guildford Inspector, Surrey Fire and Rescue)

Best Restaurant National – Turtle Bay (Presented by Councillor Maddy Redpath)

Best Pub Independent – The Guildford Tup (Presented by Luke Seymore, Stonegate Area Manager)

Best Pub National – The Star Inn – Shepherd Neame (Presented by Sylvia Oates, National Best Bar None Co-Ordinator)

Best Entertainment Venue – G Live (Presented by Paul Bradford, Hogs Back Brewery)

Best Bar Independent – The Jubilee Club (Presented by Ellie Versey-Thompson, Deputy PCC)

Best Bar National – The Rodboro Buildings – JD Wetherspoon (Presented by Steph Austin, Prima Cura Training)

Best Late Night Venue Small – Alley Bar (Presented by Ben Pitt, Street Angels)

Best Late Night Venue Large – Casino (Presented by Alison Barlow, Assistant Chief Constable Surrey Police)

Outstanding Contribution to the Evening & Late Night Economy – Ben Pitt from Guildford Street Angels (Presented by Pete Lambert, Town Safety and Venue Liaison Manager, Experience Guildford)

Most Improved Venue – Alley Bar (Presented by Cllr Dennis Booth, Mayor of Guildford)

Press release from Experience Guildford.

For media enquiries or high res images please contact Vicki Patterson via or 07775517366.