Focused on the community
Emsworth’s Blue Bell Inn has earned acclaim for its contribution to the community and focus on local produce.
The pub on Emsworth’s historic quayside is a favourite of many locals and it is starting to gain a popular following as one of the top pubs in the wider south Hampshire region.
It scooped the best pub award at local MP Alan Mak’s inaugural Havant Small Business Awards, with the MP describing it as one of his favourite local pubs.
Owner Giles Babb has focused on making top food, with the pub coming a long way from its early history as a refuge for weary fishermen after a hard day out on the water.
Emsworth was at one point world famous for its oysters and it was regarded as having England’s largest fleet. However, the trade collapsed almost overnight following fears the oysters were contaminated with sewage-borne diseases – infamously the Dean of Winchester died in 1902 after eating contaminated bivalves during a mayoral banquet.
Giles however has been keen to promote the town’s heritage by launching a beef, oyster and Wodehouse ale pie as part of the British Food Fortnight.
Giles said: “It was an honour to win the best pub prize in the Havant Small Business Awards and nice to be recognised for all the hard work that is done by our staff.”