The Chequers Inn shortlisted for Yorkshire Pub of the Year and Best Wine Bar/Pub

The Chequers Inn at Bilton-in-Ainsty is raising a glass to celebrate being shortlisted for both a national pub industry award and a regional tourism award.

The Chequers, Ainsty Inns’ flagship pub and part of the Ainsty Group LLP, has been selected as one of the finalists for Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland in the ‘Best Wine Bar/Pub’ category of the Publican Morning Advertiser’s Great British Pub Awards.

The category recognises bars/pubs with an excellent and profitable wine offer that has been a key part of the pub’s success in the past year, while the awards overall are widely regarded as being “the one to win” by licensees, attracting hundreds of entries from all over the UK.

The Chequers is also one of only six pubs to be shortlisted in the ‘Yorkshire Pub of The Year’ category in the White Rose Awards, the UK’s largest celebration of tourism, organised by Welcome to Yorkshire.

The category aims to acknowledge and showcase the world-beating quality and variety of Yorkshire’s pubs, and recognises the pub which most effectively represents the best of Yorkshire to its customers.

Located on the outskirts of York, The Chequers focuses on delivering the highest standard of customer service to match the high quality of its traditional British cuisine served with a contemporary twist.

The pub is one of three that form Yorkshire pub company Ainsty Inns, under the ownership of Antony Pratt. Pratt only created the group in 2012 and has since aimed to provide the best produce Yorkshire has to offer.

After appointing Adrian Rowe as head chef to lead a food and drink overhaul, the Bilton-based gastro pub has gone from strength to strength.

Mr Pratt said: “We are absolutely delighted to be nominated for these two prestigious awards. After purchasing The Chequers three years ago, our team set about scouring the lengths and breadths of the country and continent in pursuit of the best available wines to suit the food we offer. We ensure all of our staff are experts and are constantly looking for ways to improve our menus.

“Alongside this mission, we have an ethos of sourcing the very best of local produce and aim to partner with local suppliers as much as possible. 

“The award nominations are a celebration of both the hard work everyone has put in at The Chequers and also of the exceptional produce made available through our local suppliers. It is a proud moment for our flagship pub.”

Plans to drive sales into next year have been laid out including the launch of a wine club at The Chequers Inn where customers will be able to purchase wines by the case and view tasting and buying tips on a dedicated YouTube channel.

The Chequers Inn has become a local authority on wine with monthly wine dinners taking place, each with a different regional or international theme. The pub is gearing up for its Nyetimber English sparkling wine dinner on the 23 July on the back of its double award nomination this month.

The winners are to be announced at the respective awards ceremonies with the Great British Pub Awards ceremony being held on 10th September in London and the White Rose Awards following in autumn of this year.

Antony Pratt, owner of Ainsty Inns group and Adrian Rowe, head chef at The Chequers Inn, Bilton-In-Ainsty

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