The “Arden Arms” was voted ” Pub of the Year” at the 2008 Manchester Food & Drink Festival Awards Ceremony held at the Palace Hotel in Manchester on the 13th October 2008.
We donned our evening suits, straightened the bow ties, jumped in the taxi & we were there, nervous that we would be pipped at the post again as we were last year. The dining room at the Palace looked great & the Gala Dinner turned out to be a glittering affair with all the great & good of the Manchester food & drink scene in attendance. Dinner was served & then the Awards began
Our hearts were in our throats as Jay Rayner, the Food Critic of the Observer, mounted the stage to announce the winner of the ” Pub of the Year” category. Now we know what it feels like to be at the Oscars! When Jay announced we’d won, all hell let loose. Our friend Debbie jumped on her seat, arms in the air cheering. What a sight! Joe went up to receive the award & here’s the picture to prove it. Looks pretty pleased with himself eh?
We are honoured to receive this award from the Festival. Our sincerest thanks to them, to our great team of staff without whom it would not have been possible, to our large & loyal band of customers & to all of you who voted for us to win the Award
Thank you so much!
What others say about The Arden Arms:
Feature article from the Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA monthly newsletter “Opening Times”
The Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Pub of the Month for June, the Arden Arms (Millgate, Stockport) is a classic pub by any definition. Apart from a sensitive alteration to bring an old kitchen into public use, this Grade II listed building has remained essentially unchanged for 150 years or more. So, it was with considerable sadness that local drinkers watched as the pub entered a spiral of decline, culminating in the eviction of one set of tenants by Robinson’s. Happily those days are now firmly in the distant past and the pub has been restored to its former glory – a much used cliché which just happens to be true in the case of the Arden Arms.
Those responsible for this transformation are Joe Quinn and Steve King who took over the pub in late 1999. They made an immediate start with a thorough redecoration and spruce up, and followed this with a comprehensive programme of restoration which now sees the pub gleam and sparkle much as it did during its heyday under the long-term tenancy of Jack May.
Joe and Steve made their names when they owned That Café in Levenshulme, which became something of a gastronomic oasis under their tenure. Unsurprisingly then, a high-class food operation was introduced where well-cooked and imaginative food, ‘restaurant food at pub prices’, now adds to the pub’s many attractions.
Foremost amongst those attractions has to be the superbly kept Robinson’s ales. Best Bitter and Hatters Mild are the mainstays, although these are joined by Old Tom for the winter months and the current seasonal is also usually available. All the beer is invariably in immaculate condition and it is no surprise that the Arden Arms is once again a fixture in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide.
Joe and Steve’s efforts in rescuing one of the town’s classic pubs was recognised with a previous Pub of the Month Award in December 2000. They have gone on to create a flagship for quality and excellence on all fronts. It is this unflagging commitment and dedication to making sure the Arden stays at the very forefront of the local pub scene that a second award is now being made.
Manchester Evening News, Ray King
Greater Manchester’s regional pub of the year
Congratulations to the Arden Arms, voted Greater Manchester’s regional pub of the year in the 32nd edition of the Good Beer Guide, just launched by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
The accolade in the 2005 guide places the Arden Arms in the top 16 pubs in Britain by the people who matter most – the customers – judged on criteria including the quality of the beer, customer service, decor and value for money.
The Good Beer Guide describes Stockport’s Arden Arms as “Grade II listed, warrants a visit for the building alone. Note the fine bar, tiled lobby, grandfather clocks, two real fires and splendid snug, accessible through the serving area.The lunches are of a very high standard (the licensees formerly ran a restaurant) – the four of five specials always include a vegetarian option. The cobbled courtyard testifies to the Arden’s past as a coaching inn”.
CAMRA – Campaign For Real Ale
The Arden Arms has a beautifully preserved interior dating from the nineteenth century, with simple wooden panelling, bench seating and quarry tile floors. Three rooms open up off the lobby area around the bar and a fourth room can be accessed by passing through the bar . There have been some structural alterations in recent years (new openings, a new room formed from former living quarters and some bench seating removed) but the quality that remains is very evident.
Beer in the Evening – Independent Pub Review Website
Excellent pub. They did the catering for my Mum’s 60th a couple of months ago and it was stunning. Recently won CAMRA’s Regional award for best pub in the North West. – 21 Nov 2004 17:04
This is a marvellous pub.A terrific pint of Robinsons as well as a selection of other real ales.The interior has a great feel to it and the atmosphere is lively,jovial and friendly (though i’ve only ever visited it on a Saturday I have to say).Also free butties were handed round for hungry drinkers on my visits to the pub- 10 Nov 2004 23:07
Surprised this one wasn’t listed already! Winner of numerous CAMRA awards for tasty Robinson’s beer, top food and great surroundings, the Arden Arms is a real gem of a pub.
Steve King and Joe Quinn are the blokes responsible for rejuvinating this pub back to the high quality establishment it was back in the days of Jack May, before a series of less than able landlords ran it into the ground. The pub now gleams, with all of its original interior restored and a lovely beer garden out the back. Friendly, well cared for, with great beer and great food – and an award winner too. Can’t ask for much more.- 26 Aug 2004 15:00
Curmudgeon – Specialist Real Ale Journalist
Is it possible to combine good food with genuine pub atmosphere?
Of course, we have in this area a pub that shows how it is possible to combine good food with a genuinely pubby atmosphere, in the shape of Stockport’s Arden Arms, the deserved winner of the 2004 Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Pub of the Year Award. The Arden is an excellent pub in many respects, but in this context its food really stands out.
The licensees formerly ran a well-regarded restaurant, and they have put together a menu that is imaginative and uses high-quality, fresh, ingredients, but never loses sight of the fact that it is in a pub, not a restaurant, with a wide choice of interesting snacks, and a small but varied selection of specials which rarely rise above the £7 mark. The food is extremely popular, and at lunchtimes it can often be difficult to find a seat after 12.15, but the Arden remains a social meeting place with a wide mix of customers calling in just for a drink and a chat. It sets an example that other pubs would do well to follow.
North West Food Alliance
High class lunch menu helps boost once struggling northwest pub
The introduction of a new lunch menu has helped transform a struggling Stockport pub, according to Manchester Online.
The Arden Arms in Stockport has recently been awarded the prestigious real-ale campaigners CAMRA Greater Manchester Pub of the Year, despite just four years ago facing financial ruin.
The 200-year-old Grade II listed pub, under manager Steve King and landlord Joe Quinn, will now compete in the regional finals.