In the event they were just pipped at the post by a pub from Harlow but it was so close that Greene King awarded them a Marbella holiday as well. Chris and Karen had a wonderful time out there, not least because Greene King had even laid on a supply of their own bottled beer rather than oblige reliance on San Miguel.

The judges said, in making the award, "Always a very hotly contested category, Pub of the Year has once again produced several strong contenders, all running first class pubs with wide consumer appeal. The judges recognised the effort Chris and Karen had made to transform this pub and create a community focal point."

Having brought the pub so far, Chris and Karen now want to concentrate on maintaining the high standards they've set themselves, as exemplified by their slogan "Great food, Great beer, Great Abington". On the real ale front, Chris continues to ring the changes and reckons to offer up to 300 different guest beers a year, many drawn from local micro-breweries; he is very pleased that the pub has made the Good Beer Guide for the first time ever.