STAFF at a pub in Cricklade are celebrating after receiving national recognition for the quality of the food.

The Red Lion was named in the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropubs in the UK at an award ceremony attended by some of the biggest names in the business.

It was the first time the pub, which came in at number 42, has made the list, with the Hand And Flowers, owned by TV chef Tom Kerridge, topping the chart.

Red Lion owner Tom Gee, 38, said: “We’re obviously very proud to have made the list and it makes all the hard work worth it. This, though, is really an award for the whole team and it’s an achievement for everyone. Although this is a food award, everyone plays their part.

“When the judges come in, if the service is poor or the pub is not clean then you are not going to win an award.”

Tom first became aware they were going to be nominated when he received a letter from the organisers saying they had been put forward, before the judges paid a visit.

They found out the final result at the ceremony which was attended by manager Fernanda Carvalho.

“What makes this award so nice is that we do not put ourselves forward but it is the people behind the awards who decided to put us in the top 50,” Tom said.

“It’s hard to pin it down to one particular reason as to why we made the list.

“We rear our own pigs and have foragers so it could have been our approach to food but I’d like to think it was because we have succeeded in developing the quintessential British Pub Menu.

“We do not have anything in particular that we are known for on the menu but I believe that is a good thing.

“The homemade burgers obviously sell quite well but I like to think the judges liked the whole menu.”

Placement on the list caps a hugely successful year for the Red Lion in which it has picked up a whole host of awards.

In October the pub won Best British Freehouse Of The Year, as well as Great British Pub Of The Year at the British Pub Awards.

The pub, which has its own brewery, was also named Regional Pub Of The Year by CAMRA in April.

Tom said: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind 12 months. We’ve been here for about five and a half years so it’s nice to see everything paying off.

“But this is something that all the staff have worked towards and most of all I am proud for them.”