Observer series Pub of the Year 2019 winners announced

Tom Richardson and Ollie Boulton owners of the Three Moles which won the Best Pub of the Year award SUS-191119-194258008
Tom Richardson and Ollie Boulton owners of the Three Moles which won the Best Pub of the Year award SUS-191119-194258008

The Three Moles in Selham has been crowned the Observer Pub of the Year 2019 – a title the pub previously won in 2017.

Tom Richardson, 37, and Ollie Boulton, 28, took over the countryside pub in May, 2017 to save it from closure.

They said: “Neither of us had run a pub before and it was a complete change of career for us both, but has definitely been worth the challenge.”

Early last year the pub underwent a complete transformation of the beer garden, with a major landscaping project. The garden now features a marquee with an outside bar and pool table with beautiful views over the South Downs.

A variety of different events are held throughout the year, with an upcoming Ballards Brewery Beer Walk taking place on December 1.

The duo said: “The Three Moles is not only one of the smallest pubs in the county, it is the only pub in the world called The Three Moles. Built into a hill at the side of the road, we are surrounded by stunning countryside in the heart of the South Downs National Park. We are a traditional countryside pub and are 80 per cent wet sales still which is pretty unusual for a pub these days. We serve pub-grub style food and do what has been described as ‘the best Sunday Roast in Sussex’ on TripAdvisor. Our motto, which is on a brass plaque above the bar, is ‘there are no strangers here, just friends we are yet to meet’.”

In second place in the Observer Pub of the Year 2019 awards – voted for by readers – was The Star, Market Square, Petworth. And third went to The Crate and Apple, Westgate, Chichester.