Belfast Telegraph

PUB OF THE YEAR: Cream of the crop

The votes are flooding in for the first ever Sunday Life Readers’ Choice Pub of the Year gong. Readers have been letting us know who they think should be crowned overall winner from our list here of the top 10 most-nominated in alphabetical order. To make your vote count, simply mark the box of the pub you think should win the award on the form printed in this week's paper, cut it out and send it to us at Pub of the Year Readers’ Choice Final, Sunday Life, 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. We’re going to keep the voting open for four editions and it will be the pub with the most votes which wins this special award. The winner will be announced at the Pubs of Ulster’s gala bash on Wednesday, November 3, in Belfast City Hall, where the country’s best pubs will be recognised in a range of categories including Best Food Pub, Best Neighbourhood Pub and Best Employee/Team. Sunday Life will be producing special framed newspaper front pages for winner and finalists in our exclusive Readers’ Choice awards that can take pride of place in those bars.

The Derg Arms (Sammy Walls’)
Co Tyrone
Ashley Yarnoff said: “My vote is for the Derg Arms in Castlederg, Co Tyrone. Sammy Walls’ is the best — kind, considerate and a staple in my travels over to Northern Ireland for the past five years. Cheers!”

The Errigle Inn
Belfast
Regular Sinead McNulty said: “I think that the award should go to the Errigle Inn this year, the Belfast pub most definitely deserve the title. They are consistently hitting the mark as regards customer satisfaction, delicious food, top quality menus, excellent promotions and really informative and enticing website. They are all about their customers and always make you feel welcome, in my eyes they are the best and also it's my local pub.”

Grace Neill's
Donaghdee, Co Down
James Tidman nominated this pub because it’s perfect “for a drink, a meal or just to soak up the warm and friendly atmosphere — a pub that sums up the spirit of Northern Ireland and her people.”

McAleer's
Dungannon, Co Tyrone
Local, Andrew Gillen, said: “McAleer’s Bar should win this accolade, simply because it is a young, bright, trendy local bar and nightspot. It recently underwent massive refurbishment and, as a result, catapulted itself back to one of the areas top night spots. In tandem with this, during the day, it is a great venue to meet for a quiet drink, or watch the match.”

Necarne Arms
Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh
Robert Anderson said: “This pub is an excellent place to relax in comfort and style and suits both young and old with its contemporary take on the classic bar. The Necarne Arms has great entertainment with its tribute, theme and charity nights as well as great bands etc — it’s a great place for just having the craic.”

Olderfleet Bar
Larne, Co Antrim
Brenda Ashbridge said: “The beer garden is second to none with its beach bar, heaters and just the amazing space. The bar staff are friendly and I love that they have my drinks waiting for me when I arrive. The owner is friendly to the point of driving around town to get my preferred drink when they run out (which is rare), and then giving me freebies to compensate. AND ... the craic is mighty. I wouldn't drink anywhere else.”

The Hole In The Wall Bar
Armagh
Richard Shilliday said: “The Bar is a great local where people are always welcomed with a smile. On quiet nights there is always someone to have a pint and a bit of craic and on busy nights, even when the bar is packed, everyone is greeted and served without waiting for any length of time. I am proud to be a customer of such a great bar.”

Pier 36
Donaghdee, Co Down
Maureen Roberts said: “I wish to nominate Pier 36 in Donaghadee for Pub of the Year 2010. My reasons for doing so are that it just ticks all the boxes, from surroundings, staff, location, all top notch, the food is wonderful, so fresh. They source local and seasonal produce and have a very fine wine list, catering for all pockets.”

Primrose
Ballynahinch, Co Down
Mary Dornan said: “It has excellent food, friendly staff and it’s great value for money.”

Shepherd's Rest
Draperstown, Co Londonderry
Anne McGuigan said: “The reason I want to vote for this pub is because it is a friendly pub with a great atmosphere about it, it is in a lovely location with great views it is a family-friendly pub great for all ages. The staff are friendly and everything about it is just lovely.”

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