Norwich pub named best in the city by Camra

A couple who took over a Norwich pub less than 16 months ago are celebrating after their business was named best city pub for 2011.

When Clive and Sally Mann took over the Cottage, in Silver Road, north city, in December 2009 they aimed to promote it as a real ale pub and bring back its community feel.

The turnaround has been so successful that the Norwich and Norfolk branch of Camra awarded them the best city pub award for 2011. They were just one vote away from being named the Norfolk Pub of the Year, which was won by the Windham Arms in Sheringham on the north Norfolk coast.

Mrs Mann, who grew up on Silver Road just yards from the pub, said: 'I think one reason we won was because of the way we have transformed the pub. When we took it over it was very much a karaoke, Stella, John Smith's-style pub. But we now have 10 handpumps for real ale on the bar and are really trying to promote it as a real ale pub.

'We have put a lot of hard work into it. It's no secret that pubs are struggling at the moment and we have never had to work so hard to get �1 in the till. It's nice to get recognition and hopefully this will now increase our footfall and put us right back on the map.'

Mark Stimpson, Norwich and Norfolk Camra's pubs officer, said both pubs were 'fantastic, local community pubs'.

He added: 'There was nothing between them and choosing the winner eventually went down to the chairman Graham Freeman's vote.'

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Windham Arms landlady Peta Garnavos said the award was a reward for all the hard work they had put in.

'I'm gobsmacked. It's absolutely amazing and I still cannot believe it; really pleased.

'This is a family-run pub and we are all enthusiastic about getting our food and beers top-notch and having a good selection.

'We have been running it for nearly five years and have not won anything yet, so we are really chuffed. It means all our hard work has borne fruit.'

As reported, The Cottage is owned by award-winning Suffolk microbrewer Mauldons.

The Manns ran The Wig and Pen in St Martin's Palace Plain, Norwich until 2005 and were previously at The Red Lion in Bishopgate. They also ran The George and Dragon at Thurton near Loddon for a time.

The Evening News' Love Your Local campaign has been encouraging people to support their local pubs.

Do you have a story about a pub? Contact reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@