THE WINNER OF the greenest pub in London competition – organised by the Jellied Eel magazine, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Ethical Eats Catering Network - has been announced as The Duke of Cambridge in Islington.
Almost 40 of the capital’s pubs were in the running for the award, which looks at their food and drinks offering, their environmental practices and links to the local community. The ten with the most public votes went before a panel of judges from (CAMRA) and Sustain.
The Duke of Cambridge has championed sustainable food and drink for 15 years, and was the country’s first organic pub. The pub has also worked with local schools and nurseries to teach children how to cook healthy meals using locally-grown, organic ingredients. It also supports local charities and encourages staff to volunteer in the community.
Judge Claire Cain, from CAMRA said: “There were some really good contenders, but the Duke of Cambridge really stood out. These days a lot of pubs are really hard-pressed and have to think outside the box to attract and keep punters. At CAMRA we really want to see pubs engaging with their communities, and the Duke is absolutely committed to doing that.”
Geetie Singh, the pub’s owner, said: “It’s hugely flattering to win this award. We are entirely organic, everything we buy is sustainable and seasonal, and although it’s a constant challenge to get enough quantities of anything, it’s incredibly exciting for our chefs. When we first opened I tried to keep it quiet that we were an ethical business because I thought people would be put off by it. But now customers come because they share our values and that’s really heartening. People can eat and drink delicious food here entirely guilt-free.”
South London’s hostelries didn’t miss out though. Kennington’s The Three Stags was awarded Highly Commended, for developing strong links with local growers. Ingredients like fruit, vegetables and herbs come from within a two-mile radius of the pub and are delivered by bike. Even closer to home, the pub has a beehive and herb-growing area on its roof. Non-alcoholic drinks include seasonal cordials (currently elderflower and red elderflower) made by in-house urban forager Tess. On the waste front, taking leftovers home in doggy bags is very much encouraged and everything from oil to food is recycled.
Jellied Eel editor Ben Reynolds said: “We were really chuffed to see not only how London’s pubs are going that extra mile to bring good food and drink to the capital, but also the variety of community links they have built, with schools, local growers, charities and small food producers. And with pubs in the capital closing at an alarming rate, there’s no excuse not to get out there and support the neighbourhood boozer.”