A CALDBECK pub is celebrating after being named the best country pub and inn in the county at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The Oddfellows Arms received the ‘Best Country Pub & Inn – Cumbria’ award at this year's Lux Travel and Tourism Awards.

Discussing the win, owner James Whitesmith said: “I’m delighted that we have won the award.

"We received an email from Lux Magazine initially saying that we had been nominated in the category, then about four weeks ago they got back in touch informing us that we were voted the best in the county and we would receive a trophy in due process.

"I couldn’t believe it!”

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Lux Magazine operates an open-vote policy, whereby any organisation can put themselves forward or be nominated by a third party. Votes are then cast anonymously via their secure online portal.

Voting is promoted digitally to LUX magazine’s circulation.

The publisher also nominates candidates whom they feel are appropriate and deserving of recognition. The number of votes is not directly influential to the ultimate category winners.

News and Star: DELIGHTED: Owner James WhitesmithDELIGHTED: Owner James Whitesmith

When asked if they had to travel to an awards ceremony to pick up their prize, James continued: “Unfortunately there were no ceremonies. The magazine is picked up by readers not only in the UK but as far abroad as places like Dubai, so everything was pretty much done through emails.

“We were notified that we had won a few weeks before we actually received the trophy, so we had to keep it quiet from our customers until the award arrived this week.

"I’ve been a chef for over 25 years, working with the likes of Gordon Ramsey, but this was a very pleasant surprise and the trophy will be pride of place at the bar.”

The pub usually sees a busy stream of traffic enter the premises for some delicious, homemade meals, and will expect to see a busy start to June with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

They will host a picnic from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5, offering sandwich platters, Cumberland sausage rolls and other tasty treats.

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