The ‘best pub in Cornwall’ has been presented with its award by CAMRA Kernow.

The Cornwall Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale said it was “delighted” to make the presentation of Pub of the Year 2024 to the Hole in the Wall, Bodmin, last Saturday, May 11.

The competition has not been without controversy this year as, just days after being announced as the winner, the Hole in the Wall had its award withdrawn in March, following a complaint about an item on display that was deemed offensive.

The complaint related to a Swastika armband that had been on display in the pub since a soldier brought it back from the war.

However, following a review by CAMRA's national Awards Committee the title was reinstated, with CAMRA issuing a statement in April to say it had come to its decision after the landlord removed the item - which had been there for decades - and apologised.

Falmouth Packet: The Hole in the Wall in BodminThe Hole in the Wall in Bodmin (Image: Google Street View)

Speaking this week, CAMRA Kernow, said: “The Cornwall Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale was delighted to be able to make its presentation of Pub of the Year 2024 to the Hole in the Wall.

“It is well known by now that this award was delayed after CAMRA HQ received a complaint from one member of the public and withdrew the award.

“Cornwall CAMRA chair Vince Curtis vigorously appealed against that decision and with common sense prevailing the award was restored.”

Falmouth Packet: A good turnout for the presentationA good turnout for the presentation (Image: CAMRA Kernow)

Vince has now presented the award to Hole in the Wall licensee Steve Hall in the pub’s sun drenched beer garden, and said that he was very pleased that he could finally bestow this much deserved accolade.

Steve in turn said he delighted to receive it, adding that the honour was for the pub and all the people, staff and customers associated with it.

A large number of pub regulars and CAMRA members attended the presentation.

In addition to being named Pub of the Year, the Hole in the Wall also received its certificate for winning Cornish Pub of the Season (Winter).

Falmouth Packet: The pub was also presented with its seasonal winner award for winterThe pub was also presented with its seasonal winner award for winter (Image: CAMRA Kernow)

Also vying to be named Pub of the Year had been CAMRA Kernow’s summer seasonal winner, the Driftwood Spars at St Agnes, and autumn seasonal winner, The Blisland Inn, Bodmin.

The Blisland, a former National Pub of the Year winner, was named runner up in this year’s Cornish competition.

At the time of announcing the winner, CAMRA Kernow said: “The Hole in the Wall is a deserving winner as, unlike a lot of other pubs, it has not changed and consistently serves a broad range of very well kept and reasonably priced real ales.

“The staff are welcoming and the pub raises funds for many good causes. It makes an ideal pub to cosy up around the lovely fire at this time of year, but is also a good pub for real ale throughout the year.

“It has great, friendly atmosphere and well deserves this award.”

When deciding on the overall Pub of the Year, CAMRA Kernow’s panel of judges were diligent in assessing the finalists in all of the below categories:

  • Quality and condition of real ale/cider
  • Promotion and knowledge of real ale/cider
  • Cleanliness and staff hygiene
  • Community Focus Service and welcome
  • Style, décor and atmosphere
  • Sympathy with CAMRA’s aims

Real Ale is defined by CAMRA as beer served in traditional fashion, i.e. with no extraneous CO2

In contact with the beer to pressurise it or to drive it into the glass. Nor will it have been filtered, pasteurised, or otherwise had natural live yeast removed before point of sale.