Pub crowned Exeter's best by CAMRA

Paul and Nataliya Knott, landlords of The Thatched House in Exwick -Credit:DevonLive
Paul and Nataliya Knott, landlords of The Thatched House in Exwick -Credit:DevonLive

An Exeter pub has been crowned the best pub in the region for the second year in a row. It comes as the landlord and lady mark 15 years of running the popular boozer.

CAMRA has named The Thatched House in Exwick as its Pub of the Year in Exeter and East Devon for 2024, which is the pub's second victory in a row. It faced tough competition from other pubs, who just narrowly missed out on the win, including the Bicton Inn in Exmouth, The Bridge Inn in Topsham and The Beer Engine in Newton St Cyres.

Pubs are judged on various criteria, with the quality of real ale, cider and perry being one of the most important. Other factors include promotion and knowledge of products, hygiene, community focus, service and atmosphere.

The Thatched House is a Greene King owned pub but has been run by Paul and Nataliya Knott for 15 years. While the building is owned by a pub company, Paul has previously said that they have tried to have as much control over what they sell as possible, with a focus on real ales.

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CAMRA says they were impressed by the pub's selection of real ales, with up to eight on offer at any one time. The organisation also made note of regular beer festivals with ale served from the cask.

A spokesperson for the Exeter and East Devon CAMRA branch said: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to give the Thatched House our Pub of the Year award. It is a tribute to everyone at the pub for their hard work in making this such a great pub and well worthy of the award – congratulations."

Paul and Nataliya took over the pub almost by chance after spotting a 'to let' sign while driving back from viewing another pub. They have said they found it in an "awful" state, with water damage throughout and having been closed for months.

The pair brought the place back to life and now serve customers from across Exwick. In addition to being a familiar face as pub landlord, Paul is also known in the area as an Exeter City Councillor but he says politics is left firmly at the door.