The Old Black Lion in Hay-on-Wye has been named in the top eight pubs and bars in Wales this year and will now compete for the title of National Pub & Bar of the Year.

The annual event names a total of 94 venues as the best in their respective counties, aiming to highlight the positive and inspiring work being carried out across the UK’s hospitality industry.

James Walton , joint owner of The Old Black Lion said: “It recognises the hard work our entire team puts in to provide great service to every customer. 

“We want to stand out by not only providing outstanding service to all our guests but also supporting local businesses and the community as best we can.”

The Old Black Lion is a restaurant and B&B in the book town of Hay-On-Wye, situated on the border of Wales and England. 

“Hay-on-Wye is a fantastic town, and we want people to have a great place to eat and drink to top off their visit,” added Gillian Walton, joint owner of the pub. 

“To be one of eight finalists in the Wales region for this award is such a prestigious achievement, we are over the moon!”

The Old Black Lion.
(The Old Black Lion.)

The grand final awards ceremony will take place in London on June 28. There, the country winners will discover which pubs will be taking home a regional title, as well as which site is to be named the UK’s best, leaving with the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year accolade.

Entries for the awards have been open since the start of the year, with hundreds of venues outlining the details of their operation, summarising the work that goes into design, training, team welfare, sustainability, food, drink, marketing and many other areas.

“We were overwhelmed by the level and quality of entries this year,” said Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub&Bar magazine, which runs the awards. 

“It just goes to show what magnificent work is going on across the UK hospitality sector. With outrageous energy costs, recruitment shortages and a punishing taxation system, these businesses are once again facing tough times. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that people support their local pubs and bars.”

The Old Black Lion.
(The Old Black Lion.)

At the grand finale, other awards will be handed out, including the Pub brand of the year, Bar brand of the year, Pub Chef of the year and Sustainable Pub & Bar of the year.

The 15 regional winners will then be announced ahead of the esteemed National pub & bar of the year award.