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The Vines Pub triumphs in CAMRA Pub Design Awards

4 weeks ago

The Vines Pub triumphs in CAMRA Pub Design Awards
The Vines. Image provided by CAMRA

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has announced the winners of its prestigious Pub Design Awards, which celebrate excellence in pub architecture, refurbishment, and historic conservation across the UK.

This year’s awards recognise the highest standards in the design and innovation of pubs, with a panel of experts in design and conservation judging the entries.

Among the winners, Liverpool’s own The Vines pub on Lime Street has received the Historic England Conservation Award for its outstanding restoration efforts.

The Vines, affectionately known as “The Big House,” is an iconic Grade II listed Edwardian pub that has long been a staple of Liverpool’s cultural and architectural heritage.

Constructed in 1907, the pub was designed by renowned architect Walter W. Thomas, who also designed the Philharmonic Dining Rooms.

The Vines boasts an opulent interior featuring intricate woodwork, stained glass, and luxurious ceramic tiling, reflecting the grandeur of the Edwardian era.

The Vines
Credit: The Vines

The Vines had fallen into disrepair over the years due to neglect under previous management. However, the recent full conservation and refurbishment project has meticulously restored its historic features while updating its facilities for modern use.

The judges of the CAMRA Pub Design Awards were particularly impressed by the high quality of the restoration work, which has revived The Vines as a stunning example of historic pub design and craftsmanship.

In the early 20th century, it was a bustling hub for travelers arriving at Lime Street Station. Its lavish interior, with ornate plasterwork ceilings and grand mahogany bars, attracted a diverse clientele, making it a cornerstone of Liverpool’s social scene.

CAMRA’s Historic England Conservation Award is given to pubs that excel in preserving architectural features while enhancing their facilities. The Vines’ restoration has successfully maintained its historic charm, ensuring that it remains an iconic part of Liverpool’s heritage.

The Vines
Credit: The Vines

Other Award Winners

In addition to The Vines, other winners in the CAMRA Pub Design Awards include:

New Build Award

  • Hall & Woodhouse Taplow, Buckinghamshire (Highly Commended) – The new Hall & Woodhouse pub is located by the River Thames, featuring an expansive outdoor terrace with wonderful views. The judges were particularly impressed by the exterior, which draws on design themes from riverside sheds and warehouses.

Conversion to Pub Use Award

  • bod Alsager, Cheshire East (Winner) – Formerly a solicitors’ office, this café bar by Titanic Brewery uses recycled materials extensively. Judges praised the light and airy conservatory that adds a ‘wow’ factor.
The Vines
Credit: The Vines

Refurbishment Award

  • Kings Arms, Elham (Winner) – This ancient inn has undergone a creative makeover, resulting in a warm, welcoming, and contemporary environment. Judges described it as “a lovely place for a drink or a meal.”
  • Crown Inn, Chislehurst (Highly Commended) – Dating back to 1874, this pub underwent a major renovation, retaining its unique character while introducing modern features like a central servery and an orangery.
  • Bell, Tring (Commended) – A sensitive redesign and redecoration have given this 17th-century coaching inn a contemporary feel while enhancing its historic features.
  • Sheep & Penguin, Wells (Commended) – A complete restoration transformed this derelict building into a bright and welcoming pub, making a positive contribution to the city’s streetscape.

Community Local Award

  • Pipe Makers Arms, Broseley (Commended) – A quality refurbishment providing attractive facilities for a range of community groups and activities.

These awards highlight the importance of preserving and celebrating the unique architectural and cultural heritage of British pubs.

The Vines
Original fireplace in The Vines

Chair of the Pub Design Awards judging panel, Andrew Davison, said:

“Once again, the Pub Design Awards’ judges have had a hard job in selecting the winners from the entries submitted. Despite the pressures the hospitality industry is under, we are pleased to report that people are still prepared to invest time, money, and resources into conserving their buildings, and upgrading them to meet the latest challenges.

“Our Pub Design Awards recognise the high standards of flair and imagination which have gone into these projects, and the ambitious craftsmanship involved in the repair and conservation work. Despite everything thrown at it, we believe that the pub has a key role to play in our communities, and that it will continue to flourish as an institution. The high quality of the entries for these Awards provides evidence to support that belief.”

The Vines
Credit: The Vines

CAMRA’s Awards Director Laura Emson added:

“It is only right that the blood, sweat and tears poured into these pubs is celebrated. I would like to raise a glass to all these award-worthy pubs!

“We hope beer-lovers across the country will seek out these breath-taking examples of how beautiful UK pubs can be, if given the appropriate love and care these much-loved establishments truly deserve.”

The Vines is located at 81 Lime Street, Liverpool, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing the grandeur of Edwardian pub design.

For more on The Vines click here.

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