August 2014 – Hot on the heels of being voted Yorkshire’s favourite pub in the Welcome to Yorkshire Pub of the Year competition The Woolly Sheep in Skipton has picked up two further prestigious awards. The Timothy Taylor’s owned pub has been named winner of both the Best Managed Pub and Best Cellar for the Yorkshire, North East & Scotland region in the Great British Pub Awards 2014. At the same time the Woolly Sheep’s sister pub The Royal Oak in Ripon has won Best Partnership Pub in the same awards.
The awards are organised by the country’s leading pub industry magazine, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser and its editor Rob Willock said: ‘The awards recognise excellence in pubs. The judges were really impressed with the Woolly Sheep’s strong cask ale sales growth, its well kept cellar and immaculate retail standards.’
Both pubs will now go forward to the Great British Pub Awards 2014 national final held in London on Thursday 11th September. They will go head to head with other regional winners for the UK titles ‘Best Managed Pub 2014’, ‘Best Cellar 2014’ and ‘Best Partnership Pub 2014’. Both will also have the opportunity to compete for the overall champion of champions title of ‘Great British Pub of the Year 2014’
A delighted Andy Goodall, Manager of the Woolly Sheep, said: ‘We are all thrilled to bits. To win three awards in quick succession is absolutely amazing and it’s all down to our great team who make sure we offer the best service, the best beer and the best food possible. Now it’s fingers crossed for London.’
It is exciting times at the Woolly Sheep for as well as winning awards for its atmosphere and the excellence of its beers Head Chef Thomas Robertson has just been commissioned to write his own cook book.
Tom started his career at the Woolly Sheep where he trained to become Sous Chef. He then moved to London where he gained experience in a two rosettes Michelin restaurant before becoming Head Chef at a food led pub in Surrey. He returned as Head Chef at the Woolly Sheep last year, since when he has created menus that are proving to be extremely popular with diners.
Commenting on his forthcoming cook book Tom said: ‘I am focusing on interesting, simple and fresh dishes from each season that I know people will enjoy. I’m not going to teach people how to suck eggs, but I will feature a variety of pub style dishes, some technically more advanced classics and some dishes to wow guests at a dinner party. There will be some background to each dish, highlighting why I like it, as well as variations to the dishes, so that people can change the dish with tastes and seasons.’
On top of all the awards Heike Funke, Operations Manager for Timothy Taylor’s Pub Estate has revealed that planning permission has just been granted to add 3 new en-suite bedrooms, create an extra new 24 seater dining room and enlarge the kitchen. Tom is looking to add to the kitchen team immediately by recruiting a junior Sous Chef and a Chef-de-Partie and he anticipates more staff will be needed once the new kitchen has been completed.
Heike commented:’The Woolly Sheep is going from strength to strength and to cope with the pub’s ever increasing popularity we are looking to recruit some local talent to join this amazingly creative catering team and hopefully be as successful as Tom. We are very excited about the opportunities on offer.’
All this comes at a time when Timothy Taylor’s is celebrating Boltmaker, their true Yorkshire bitter, recently winning Supreme Champion Beer of the Britain at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival in London.
Photo Captions: 1) Thomas Robertson, Head Chef at the Woolly Sheep, Skipton. 2) Adrian Sykes, Joint Tenant of The Royal Oak, Ripon