Classic Pub of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner

The Black Horse at Aylestone, Leicestershire

Finalists

The Green Man at Ropsley, Lincolnshire
The Geese & Fountain, Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire
The Stamford Arms, Groby, Leicestershire


The winner is The Black Horse at Aylestone. It’s a wonderful surprise when The Black Horse suddenly appears when you walk around a suburban corner in Aylestone. The joy continues when you walk through the front door.

For us, The Black Horse is exactly what a ‘real’, ‘proper’ or ‘classic’ pub (whatever you want to call it) should be. It’s well cared for, friendly, cosy, unique, laid-back and serves unpretentious homemade food alongside good cask ales and real ciders. The homemade fish and chips with mushy peas we ate here was spot on.

Mini fish & chips at The Black Horse (the chips came in a separate bowl and aren’t pictured)

The Geese & Fountain is a village pub that works hard to offer something different and of high quality. The beer selection is ever-changing and seriously good, and the food is locally sourced, homemade, pleasing and hearty. If this was our local, we’d be ecstatic.

On our visit, we enjoyed choosing from a selection of 40 local sausages and around 30 ciders during the Geese & Fountain’s Sausage & Cider Festival.

The Geese & Fountain offered 40 types of sausage at its Sausage & Cider Festival in October 2019

The Green Man at Ropsley also ticks all the ‘proper pub’ boxes. It’s a superb asset to the village and simply a great place to be, especially in the warm and buzzing bar on a Friday night.

Local sourcing is a high priority here, and when we visited, it was a pleasure to wander in and eat a delicious Lavinton Lamb burger.

The Green Man’s Lavinton Lamb burger

The Stamford Arms is a large, bustling, well-run pub with a big menu and friendly staff.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He is passionate about the independent food & drink sector and founded Great Food Club in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town.