PUB of the Year is back.

Today the Worcester News begins the search for the city’s most popular watering hole, for 2019.

Voted for by the public, the aim is to find the most popular pub in Worcester while also celebrating the many fantastic watering holes in our city.

Last year hundreds of pub-goers supported their favourite establishments and we were inundated with votes. In the end St John’s pub The Bedwardine took the coveted title, and landlord Sebastian O’Donnell said he was gobsmacked and “absolutely delighted” to bag the award.

Making up the top three in 2018 were runner up Fox and Hounds in Lulsley, and in a scoop for pubs in St Johns, The Bell Inn came third in our competition.

On his memories of winning last year, Mr O’Donnell said: “We were blown away by the support, it was quite overwhelming – when we won we had been there less than a year.

“Since then we have gone from strength-to-strength. There are so many great pubs in St John’s, and in Worcester. It would be amazing if we won a second time.”

Voting is open now and closes on Friday, December 20, so use the slip in today’s newspaper to name your favourite pub and tell us why it deserves to win.

The winning landlord will receive a Worcester News Pub of the Year 2019 trophy and be invited to the Houses of Parliament by the city’s MP Robin Walker.

The MP said: “I am delighted to be supporting the Pub of the Year competition to celebrate the huge contribution that our amazing pubs make to the communities around them. Local pubs in Worcester raise a fortune for charity and provide important hubs for community activity.

“We are blessed with a fantastic range of historic and unique pubs and judging this competition must be one of the hardest, though most enjoyable challenges. I was delighted to be named a parliamentary pub champion again this year and will continue to campaign to keep locals open by getting more listed as assets of community value.

“I look forward to welcoming this year’s winner to the House of Commons and wish all the entrants every success.”

Worcester News editor Michael Purton said: “The Pub of the Year competition is about highlighting the importance of pubs in their community just as much as crowning a winner. These days, with so many community centres having closed down and fewer and fewer pubs surviving each year, those pubs that do remain are just as much a social hub as a place to have a drink and meal.

"For some customers, going down the pub is the highlight of their day as they get to see familiar faces and have a chat. So we want to make sure we champion the fantastic community pubs in Worcester, to help them survive and bring in more customers."

Anyone can vote, whether a member of staff or a loyal customer, but we will only accept slips cut out from the newspaper (see today's Worcester News) as votes, not photocopies – to avoid any 'tactics'.

We’ll be profiling some of the city’s popular pubs and those put forward for the award in the newspaper and on our website throughout the next nine weeks, until voting closes. The voting slip will be published on the Pub of the Year page each week.

The winner will be announced in the newspaper and on our website on Christmas Eve.

If you’d like your pub to be featured in the paper and online, email