A PUB is celebrating being named one of the country’s best.

The Vale Royal Abbey Arms, on Chester Road in Oakmere, has picked up a pub of the year award for ‘Brilliance in Service’ at the JW Lees annual conference.

Landlord Steve Harvey, 57, is over the moon with prize, which couldn’t have come at a better time.

He said: “This month marks my sixth anniversary here and I feel truly honoured and proud that it has coincided with winning the ‘Brilliance in Service’ award.

“Service is something that my amazing team strive to excel in and exceed every customers’ expectations.

“We have a culture here to never say no, if at all possible, whether it’s a request for a favourite table, a particular glass someone likes to drink from, or even a special someone would like to see on our menu - wherever possible we do what we can to make everyone’s visit one to remember.”

Northwich Guardian: Mr Harvey moved to the pub with wife Michelle and daughter Jessica in 2017Mr Harvey moved to the pub with wife Michelle and daughter Jessica in 2017 (Image: Vale Royal Abbey Arms)

Steve moved to the Vale Royal Abbey Arms in 2017 from Royton in Manchester with his wife Michelle and daughter Jessica.

It has not been an easy time for the industry, but that hasn’t stopped Mr Harvey and the team enjoying themselves along the way.

But what makes the pub special, he says, is the customers.

“Like everyone else we experienced challenges during Covid, but we pride ourselves that we were able to keep everyone safe in a clean environment,” said Steve.

“We have gone from being the pub on Chester Road that many people drove past, to now being the heart of our fantastic community that brings in customers from miles away.

“We have a couple from Wales who travel one and a half hours every Sunday for one of our legendary roast dinners.

“We always remember faces here and love nothing more than when customers who haven’t visited since JW Lees took over the site come in and say how beautiful it now is.

“We have lots of customers who visit say they had their first date here 20 years ago and love that it’s now somewhere they can frequent, and some even remember our fantastic team member Jayne, who has worked at the pub for 21 years now and is a true credit to our team!”

Northwich Guardian: Mr Harvey has thanked the customers for making the pub what it isMr Harvey has thanked the customers for making the pub what it is (Image: Vale Royal Abbey Arms)

The Vale Royal Abbey Arms was presented with the ‘Best in Service’ award at the JW Lees annual conference on Friday, July 21.

It isn’t just the staff celebrating, with the regulars equally excited.

Dave Brocklehurst said: “Congratulations to Steve and all the brilliant staff, well deserved.

“A great manager, attentive polite staff, superb food and beer in a beautiful well-kept building and gardens. It’s a great place to be.”

Amanda Bird Massey added: “Congratulations, you deserve it! Food is amazing and so is the service and staff are so pleasant and welcoming.

And Siobhan Barlow said: “We have been here every year for our anniversary since we got together nine years ago, we love it.”

Northwich Guardian: The 'Best in Service' awardThe 'Best in Service' award (Image: Vale Royal Abbey Arms)