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20th December 2022

Shepherd Neame pub The Stag Inn scoops Pub of the Year accolade in annual tourism awards

Shepherd Neame pub The Stag Inn in Hastings has been named Pub of the Year in the annual Beautiful South Tourism Awards 2022/23, held on Tuesday, December 13 at the Grand Hotel Brighton.

The historic pub in Hastings Old Town is on a roll with awards, having received its first AA Rosette this year, and being included in the Good Food Guide for the first time.

Licensee Nicole Holt has run the 16th century Shepherd Neame inn for the past five years with husband Nick, and the pair attended the ceremony to receive the award on behalf of the whole team.

Nicole said: “We had a lovely night and we were very surprised and delighted to scoop Gold for Pub of the Year.

“It’s an amazing achievement for a small venue, and wonderful reward for the hard work and dedication of our superb team to be recognised in this way.”

Judging was carried out by an independent panel of past winners, industry leaders and experts in their field, selected for their impartiality and experience. The pub was described as “very welcoming, with super-efficient and friendly staff. Nothing was too much trouble and every customer in the pub was treated with courtesy.”

The welcoming pub prides itself on its fresh, seasonal dishes cooked with flair by chef Ben Cumberpatch, and served by an efficient and friendly team. Everything down to sauces and pickles are made on site, sometimes using foraged ingredients, and the kitchen has a zero waste ambition, using a Bokashi composter for both raw and cooked food waste.

The Stag Inn is one of Hastings’ most active entertainment venues, running regular live music and comedy nights, weekly folk and Americana sessions, and a popular Monday Quiz night, making the pub a week-round community hub.

Fran Downton, Chief Executive of Tourism South East, said: The strength of our winners is a testament to the incredible standards and unwavering quality of the South’s tourism and hospitality products.”

The prestigious award was also won by a Shepherd Neame pub last year, The Blue Anchor in Crowborough. It had also won it the previous year.

To see the full awards list go to:

You can find the Stag Inn at 14 All Saints Street, Hastings, TN34 3BJ, call 01424 438791 or visit


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

Press release from Shepherd Neame.

For further information please contact Communications Executive Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit