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29th November 2023

The Ox Row Inn, Salisbury, is Fuller’s Pub of the Year

Griffin Trophy 2023 winner and runners-up announced

Fuller, Smith & Turner, the premium pubs and hotels business, is delighted to announce The Ox Row Inn, Salisbury [10-11 Ox Row, Salisbury SP1 1EU] is the 2023 winner of its coveted Pub of the Year competition – The Griffin Trophy. The competition is open to all Fuller’s 183 Managed Pubs and Hotels and 193 Tenanted Inns and sees the winner take home the coveted Griffin Trophy.

The Ox Row Inn, managed by Emil Szoma, sits at the heart of Salisbury – on the city’s historic market square. The Ox Row Inn is a fantastic example of modern innovation in a traditional setting. A beautiful 16th century pub, the site boasts low ceilings, exposed wooden beams and an open fire. While the building is historic, inside you will find an exciting selection of craft beers, fresh cask ales, seasonal dishes, premium spirits, innovative cocktails and a wide range of exciting events – all delivered by Emil’s vibrant and friendly team. In The Ox Row, you will find an eclectic mix of customers all coming together to experience this fantastic pub – creating a vibrant atmosphere. The Ox Row Inn is more than just a place to eat, drink and be merry though – it plays an incredibly active role in the local community, supporting local events and causes.

This year’s Griffin Trophy saw 13 pubs reach the final. The finalists were visited by a judging panel – Fuller’s Chairman Michael Turner, Chief Executive Simon Emeny, and Marketing Director Sam Bourke – who selected winners for each category and the overall Griffin Trophy winner. There are four categories in the Griffin Trophy – Best City Pub; Best Town/Local Pub; Best Country/Village Pub; and Best Hotel/Inn.

The Ox Row Inn won its category this year as well as being the category winner in 2022. The pub is Emil’s first as General Manager although he has a prior connection to the Griffin Trophy. Emil undertook his management training at The Old Customs House in Portsmouth, which won the trophy when he was there in 2017.

Michael Turner, Fuller’s Chairman, said: “Thanks to Emil’s hard work and passion, The Ox Row really is at the heart of its community. When we visited, the neighbouring market was thriving, and Emil and his team worked effortlessly to offer the highest level of hospitality to locals and visitors alike. Everyone was being looked after as if they were the only ones in the pub – accompanied by a fantastic range of food and drink in a beautiful setting.

“But Emil’s work goes much further than this. He is a brilliant publican who understands what his community needs – from putting on his own events at the pub to being on hand to support local events in Salisbury. Spending time with Emil and his team was an absolute pleasure – as was watching them interact with their customers.

“The Ox Row won its category in last year’s Griffin Trophy. Winning the competition outright this year is well-deserved and a great testament to the work Emil and his team have put in to push this pub to be the best in the Fuller’s estate. Congratulations to them all. I can’t wait to see where he takes this pub next.”

Emil Szoma, General Manager of The Ox Row Inn, said: “I’m delighted that we have won the Griffin Trophy. Being a category winner in last year’s competition, we had set our sights on being the overall winner – so I’m over the moon that we’ve achieved this. My team and I are so proud of The Ox Row Inn, we’ve worked hard to deliver a fantastic experience to everyone who visits – all the while supporting our local community.”


For further information, please contact the press office:

Georgina Wald         020 8996 2198  

Alice Monteath         020 8996 2074  

Photo shows: Emil Szoma, General Manager of The Ox Row in Salisbury (left) receiving the Griffin Trophy from Fuller’s Chairman Michael Turner (centre), with David Nicoll, Deputy Manager of The Ox Row (right).

Notes to Editors:

The Griffin Trophy Overall Winner 2023

The Ox Row Inn, Salisbury


Best Hotel/Inn category

Winner: The Fox & Goose, Ealing

Runner-up: The Close, Tetbury

Runner-up: The White Star, Southampton


Best Country/Village Pub category

Winner: The King Charles, Kings Worthy

Runner-up: The Bell, Outwood

Runner-up: The Calleva Arms, Silchester


Best Town/Local Pub category

Winner: The Queen’s Head, Farnham

Runner-up: The Red Lion, Barnes

Runner-up: The Still & West, Portsmouth

Runner-up: The Turk’s Head, Twickenham


Best City Pub category

Winner: The Ox Row Inn, Salisbury

Runner-up: London’s Pride, Heathrow Terminal 2

Runner-up: The Trinity Bell, Creechurch Lane


Fuller’s in a nutshell:

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC is the premium pubs and hotels business that is famous for beautiful and inviting pubs with delicious fresh food, a vibrant and interesting range of drinks, and engaging service from passionate people. Our purpose in life is to create experiences that nourish the soul. Fuller’s has 183 managed businesses, with 1,015 boutique bedrooms, and 193 Tenanted Inns. The Fuller’s pub estate stretches from Brighton to Birmingham and from Bristol to the Greenwich Peninsula, including 163 locations within the M25. Our Managed Pubs and Hotels include Cotswold Inns & Hotels – seven stunning hotels in the Cotswolds, and Bel & The Dragon – six exquisite modern English inns located in the Home Counties. In summary, Fuller’s is the home of great pubs, outstanding hospitality and passionate people, where everyone is welcome and leaves that little bit happier than they arrived.

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For further information, please contact the press office:

Georgina Wald         020 8996 2198  

Alice Monteath         020 8996 2074  

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