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Stand Up For Southport column: Southport pub is among the finest in Merseyside

Stand Up For Southport column Southport pub is one of

The Windmill pub in Southport

By Andrew Brown

A pub in Southport is celebrating after being honoured as among the finest in Merseyside.

The Windmill has been shortlisted within the Pub of The Yr class on this yr’s Liverpool Metropolis Area Tourism Awards.

It’s the solely pub recognised outdoors of Liverpool metropolis centre. It has been named alongside: Liverpool Gin Distillery; Masons; The Bridewell; and The Denbigh Fortress.

Earlier this yr The Windmill received the Most Inclusive Native Pub Award within the Liverpool Area, within the Northern Enterprise Awards 2021.

The pub, on Seabank Highway in Southport city centre, is among the oldest within the North West, serving prospects for the reason that 1800s. The primary information of The Windmill are from about 1833. Initially three fisherman’s cottages, it has expanded over time.

Neil Walsh and Tom Hodgin have been the youngest pub landlords in Southport once they took over the operating of the long-lasting pub, on the age of 26.

They’ve since established its fame as a high quality conventional pub with scrumptious dwelling cooked meals – helped by Neil’s background as knowledgeable chef!

They didn’t waste a second through the Covid lockdowns, utilizing the time to hold out a £15,000 revamp of the venue with new-look seating inside, enhancements to the kitchen, a roaring hearth holding prospects heat in winter, and model new outside furnishings within the venue’s well-known beer backyard.

The Windmill pub in Southport

They see The Windmill as an actual “neighborhood hub for Southport”, and have labored arduous to stage occasions akin to Christmas fayres in addition to encouraging darts, dominoes and different groups.

They’ve additionally turn into a significant a part of the area people, supporting different native companies within the space.

Neil and Tom have been delighted to listen to that three visitor homes very shut by to them – Sunnyside Visitor Home, The Braemar Southport and The Heidi Mattress & Breakfast – had all been shortlisted within the B&B and Visitor Home of the Yr, whereas The Atkinson will probably be competing for the Giant Customer Attraction of the Yr award.

Neil Walsh mentioned: “I used to be shocked once I heard we had been shortlisted. I didn’t suppose we might get it!

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The Windmill pub in Southport

“I used to be stunned as effectively as a result of The Windmill was the one pub from outdoors of Liverpool metropolis centre to be recognised.

“It simply reveals how a lot we do right here, and the way effectively we’re doing to be recognised by such a significant awards ceremony.

“For the reason that previous two years of the Covid pandemic, there have been so many pubs throughout the UK closing and shutting down, and we appear to be bucking the pattern.”

A part of their success has come by means of working intently with different companies. They’re located near the Bathtub Avenue space of Southport, which is dwelling to some very good visitor homes and B&Bs. They work effectively collectively, giving suggestions to prospects on the most effective locations to remain or to get pleasure from a meal out.

Neil mentioned: “We’ve reached out to different companies in Southport, and we get pleasure from working with them, notably the native visitor homes. We assist one another. We ship individuals to them, and so they ship individuals to us.

“Tom and I have been 26 years outdated after we took over right here. We have been the youngest conventional pub landlords in Southport. We’re each 29 now.

“We’ve labored actually arduous to get this enterprise proper. We make it possible for our prospects can get pleasure from good drinks, good meals, a superb surroundings, a superb ambiance, and good service.

“We’ve spent a variety of money and time bringing the place as much as scratch since we took it over, we now have been effectively supported by our brewery, Heineken, in doing that.

“We see The Windmill as being an actual neighborhood hub for Southport.

“We’ve simply held our Christmas Fayre, the place we supported 10 nice native unbiased companies.

“We’ve simply hosted a Christmas wreath making occasion. The individuals who got here to which have by no means been in right here earlier than. Hopefully they are going to be again very quickly for lunch or for an evening out.

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Neil Walsh, landlord of The Windmill pub in Southport. Picture by Andrew Brown Media

“We’ve a profitable darts crew now, we maintain dominoes occasions. We’re trying ahead to operating a Harry Potter workshop for youths through the subsequent half time period. We additionally assist stay music, and host some nice leisure. The Southport Swords sword dancing troupe have been in to carry out – it’s one thing a bit totally different.

“The Windmill is all about utilizing the pub as a neighborhood area for households and other people of all ages to have the ability to get pleasure from, not simply someplace individuals can go for a drink. We’re an amazing pub, however we’re additionally a lot greater than only a pub.

“The pub has been right here for 180 years and but lots of people in Southport haven’t been conscious that we’re right here. We’re doing all we are able to to alter that!

“We’re getting the phrase out now about our dwelling cooked meals and every thing else we now have to supply.

“We’ve simply taken on a full time chef. Our meals, and our menu, speaks for itself. We’ve had nice suggestions from individuals. We’ve turn into actually busy.

“Everyone seems to be loving our dwelling cooked roast turkey dinners in the meanwhile!

“We put numerous specials on for purchasers, and alter our menu very often.”

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The Windmill pub in Southport

The Windmill is nice for actual ales, spirits, wine, and different drinks too.

In addition they settle for the Southport Reward Card.

Neil mentioned: “We provide three hand pulls in winter, and 4 in summer time. Theakston’s Finest is our everlasting fixture, however we modify the others. In the course of the summer time, we’re the one pub in Southport which gives Theakston’s Summit, which is a very refreshing pint.”

The Liverpool Metropolis Area Tourism Awards recognises excellence throughout the Metropolis Area’s tourism and hospitality sector.

The annual awards are delivered by Development Platform – Liverpool Metropolis Area Development Firm and this yr in affiliation with Liverpool BID Firm.

Yearly the judging panel sifts by means of the numerous purposes to slim down the easiest, who will now go ahead to the ultimate judging panel forward of the awards ceremony going down at Liverpool Cathedral on March 10 2022.

Peter Sandman, Head of Customer Financial system Improvement at Development Platform, mentioned: “It’s nice to see the customer financial system sector throwing their assist behind these awards – this yr we now have seen near a 40% enhance in purposes with a lot of these being new companies getting concerned for the primary time. We’re privileged to carry the occasion in such a shocking venue and to have the ability to rejoice our distinctive, various and resilient sector in model.”


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