Kilmaurs pub crowned best in Scotland for the second year in a row

The Weston Tavern in Kilmaurs has scooped Scotland's Best Pub award for a second year in a row.

This year the pub, which was built in the early 1700s and is known as Kilmaurs manse and Blacksmiths, won a prestigious award at the 12th edition of the Scottish Entertainment and Hospitality Awards, in association with Molson Coors.

The annual event was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow. Pub owner John Cairns, who took over the premises in 2017, is still in "shock" as he didn't expect to win again this year.

The team already had a party on Saturday, May 18 to celebrate the achievement with some of the regulars and guests.

John, 35, told Ayrshire Live: "It’s still a shock to the system we never thought we would win again after winning last year. It’s an incredible achievement for our wee village family-owned venue, to not win it once but twice in consecutive years it’s unbelievable.

"It’s emotional winning a title for a second time, especially after the turmoil years the hospitality industry has faced with dealing with Covid and the after effects of it then the energy crisis and subsequent cost of living crisis. It’s been a battle to survive this tough period especially when over 500 pubs have closed in 2023."

The award night was hosted by comedian Des Clarke.

It drew a sell-out crowd of over 800 guests from all across Scotland with the night featuring performances by London West End stars Kerry Ellis, renowned for her role in Wicked, and John Owen Jones, famous for his portrayal of the Phantom of the Opera.

The after-party featured the sensational Boyzlife duo, Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, who brought the evening to a glamorous conclusion.

Warren Paul, CEO and Founder of Scottish Entertainment and Hospitality Awards, said: "As the event marks its 12th year, it is inspiring to see the unwavering support and significant growth within the Scottish Entertainment industry.

"This year, we received over 250,000 unique votes from the public, who enthusiastically participated in selecting their favourite establishments. More than 5,000 professionals from the Scottish entertainment and hospitality industry engaged with the event, underscoring its importance within the sector.

"We take immense pride in offering a platform that encourages the Scottish public to explore and support.

"Collaborative efforts to enhance quality and elevate standards are paramount in ensuring the continued prosperity of the Scottish entertainment and hospitality industry."

John said: "The awards night was amazing. The Entertainment and Hospitality Awards is like the Oscars for our industry. To go as a finalist is a celebration in itself and my Weston Family and myself really enjoyed getting to go out together and celebrate being one of the best in the country never mind winning for the whole of Scotland.

"We will certainly be doing our best to keep our standards as high as possible ensuring we continue to be community focused in all we do. If we do defend once again and win for a third consecutive year I think an open top bus might be needed as it’s a big ask to happen especially with the amount of other fantastic pubs out there."

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