Soham pub could win a prize for its smoking area

THE Fountain pub in Soham has been short listed in a nationwide search to find the pub with the best smoking area in the UK.

The Great British Pub Awards 2011, run by trade magazine, The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, is looking for pubs that provide excellent outdoor smoking facilities for adult customers, and The Fountain has made it to the final four.

The pub was nominated for the award thanks to its small but perfectly formed smoking area, which boasts six bench tables, a purpose-built wooden smoking shelter with integral heating and lighting, plus a garden area complete with light fittings to illuminate the many flowers, plants and trees.

John Hartley, joint manager of The Fountain, said: “My team and I are delighted to have been short listed for such an amazing award. Before the smoking ban came into force, our outside space was very small and only used during the warmer weather But following lots of hard work and cash investment, it’s now an extension of the main pub, attracting smokers and non-smokers alike all year round.

“We’re so proud of the space and, come rain or shine, invest lots of time and effort in keeping it tidy and attractive, which is very important.”

The Fountain will join three other finalist pubs; Ye Olde Whyte Lyon in Locksbottom, Kent; The Blind Beggar in Whitechapel, London; and The Woolly Sheep in Skipton, North Yorkshire; to battle it out for the title. The winner will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in London on September 8.

The award is supported by tobacco manufacturer Japan Tobacco International (JTI), and the Save Our Pubs & Clubs organisation, which campaigns to amend the public smoking ban.

Most Read

Simon Clark, Director of smokers’ lobby group Forest, which supports the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign and is based in Cambridge, said: “The purpose of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign is to highlight the negative impact of the smoking ban, which continues to have a damaging effect on many traditional pubs and bars in the UK.

“We are delighted to be supporting this award, which celebrates those pubs that have really gone the extra mile to accommodate customers who wish to smoke. We wish all four finalists the very best of luck.”