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2nd December 2021

The Queen’s Head in Dorking wins the Griffin Trophy, Fuller’s Pub of the Year Award

Manu Bhatt, from The Queen’s Head, Dorking, receives The Griffin Trophy from Fuller, Smith & Turner Chairman, Michael Turner

The Queen’s Head in Dorking [Horsham Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2JS], run by Manu Bhatt, has been named the winner of this year’s Griffin Trophy – the annual Pub of the Year competition from Fuller, Smith and Turner. The Griffin Trophy is open to all Fuller’s 210 Managed Pubs and Hotels and 174 Tenanted Inns and, as well as the title, the winning licensee receives a £5,000 holiday voucher, a staff party to celebrate with their team, and the coveted Griffin Trophy itself.

The Queen’s Head is part of Fuller’s Tenanted Inns estate – and is run by Manu as his own business. He has injected his personality throughout, and it is an eclectic mix of fabulous British pub and influences from Manu’s varied career working in hospitality across the globe.

Following an extensive selection process, the eight finalists of The Griffin Trophy were all visited by Chairman Michael Turner, Chief Executive Simon Emeny, and Marketing Director Jane Jones to choose the category and overall winners. The Queen’s Head was named winner of the Best Town/Local category as well as taking the overall title.

Michael Turner said: “Manu Bhatt is a highly entrepreneurial and creative operator and his experience from his travels really comes through at The Queen’s Head. It’s been a tough time to be running a hospitality business during the last 20 months – but Manu has not only ridden out this turbulent period – he’s exited the pandemic in a fantastically strong position.

“Outdoor dining has grown in popularity – and Manu has invested £70,000 in covering his garden, which is on quite an incline, with a giant tepee – almost trebling the number of covers he can serve from his tiny kitchen. It is this sort of ingenuity that makes Manu an outstanding winner of The Griffin Trophy.”

Manu Bhatt said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve only been at The Queen’s Head since February 2020 and I think the best is yet to come. I’ve got so many ideas yet to put into place – and winning this award has inspired me to continue to innovate and build this great pub even further. I know that there are very few people who have won The Griffin Trophy more than once – but I intend to try and do exactly that.

“There’s something for everyone at The Queen’s Head – from the amazing menu and exciting events catering for big nights out, to tranquil corners and the wonderful garden for those that just want a quiet pint. You just can’t beat a fantastic pub and to be recognised for being exactly that is truly wonderful. Thank you Fuller’s.”

The Griffin Trophy recognises the efforts and achievements of the Company’s top Managers and Tenants in four categories: Best City/London Pub, Best Hotel/Inn, Best Town/Local Pub and Best Country/Village Pub. The results were announced at a ceremony held at The Counting House on Cornhill, in the City of London, on Thursday 1 December 2021.


Notes to Editors:

The Griffin Trophy Overall Winner 2021

The Queen’s Head, Horsham Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2JS

Best Hotel/Inn category

Winner: The Swan Hotel, 27-29 High Street, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AG

Runner-up: The Close, Long Street, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8AQ

Best Country/Village Pub category

Winner: The Mayfly, Fullerton, Near Stockbridge, Hampshire, SO20 6AX

Runner-up: The Red Lion, High Street, Southwick, Fareham, Hampshire, PO17 6EF

Best Town/Local Pub category

Winner: The Queen’s Head, Horsham Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2JS

Runner-up: The Lord Nelson, 9 Enfield Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9NY

Best City/London Pub category

Winner: The Flask, 77 West Hill, Highgate, London, N6 6BU

Runner-up: The Fence, 67-69 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6BP

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. Fuller’s has 210 managed businesses, with 1,027 boutique bedrooms, and 174 Tenanted Inns. The estate is predominately located in the South of England (44% of sites are within the M25) and stretches from our London heartland to the Jurassic Coast via the New Forest. Our Managed Pubs and Hotels include 15 iconic Ale & Pie pubs, seven stunning hotels in the Cotswolds, and Bel & The Dragon – seven exquisite country 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.

Press release from Fuller’s

For more information and photographs, please contact:

Georgina Wald:  020 8996 2198