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It's easy to see the appeal of our second pub finalist in the Evening News' Pub of the Year Award

PUBLISHED: 14:49 21 May 2011

Judge of the Evening News Pub of the Year competition, David Bale, left, chats to customer Tom Rickard at the Coach and Horses. Picture: Denise Bradley

Judge of the Evening News Pub of the Year competition, David Bale, left, chats to customer Tom Rickard at the Coach and Horses. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant copyright 2011

There's something about the best pubs that is hard to define, but as soon as you enter them, you recognise it.

Step inside the Coach and Horses and you’ll know what I mean. It’s just a place where you want to spend time in, whether quietly enjoying a good pint produced from the Chalk Hill Brewery behind the pub, reading a newspaper on one of its spaced out seats or chatting to mates. People have a good time here and that’s why they keep on coming back for more.

The Coach and Horses received more nominations – more than 130 – in the Evening News’ Pub of the Year award than any other, and it’s not hard to see why.

Located outside the city centre, the pub seems ideally placed to pick up trade from neighbouring office blocks, locals and from tourists alike.

As one of the customers I spoke to, an insurance broker, said it’s an ideal place to bring clients to.

“Rather than go anywhere stuffy, I bring clients here for a nice, relaxed meeting,” he said. “It has a good atmosphere, does real ales, and it’s also a place to chill out after work. You can always find people to talk to here.”

With several bed and breakfasts and hotels nearby, businessmen and contractors often make a beeline to the pub.

One man was attending a course in the area and had quickly made the pub his home from home.

He said: “It’s got a lot of character and I would recommend it to anyone. It has an old-style atmosphere. There are dart boards, the old type of mirrors you used to see in pubs, and empty barrels as part of the decor.”

The staff also enjoy working at the pub alongside landlord Bob Cameron, and one barmaid, who had been there nine years, said: “It’s a really good place to work. Everybody is really friendly and the customers are great.”

As reported, hundreds of people in the greater Norwich area nominated their favourite pubs for the award, which we launched to follow up the Evening News’ Love your Local campaign, which has been supporting pubs for more than two years. Thirty-five different establishments got the nod and the other three finalists are the Fat Cat in West End Street, the Trafford Arms in Grove Road and the Kings Arms in Hall Road.

The awards are being judged by Norwich pub historian Derek McDonald and the Evening News’ Love Your Local reporter David Bale. The winner of the competition will get the chance to brand its pub The Norwich Pub of the Year 2011.

To see more stories from our Love Your Local campaign, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal

What makes your local special? Let David Bale know by emailing him at david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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