The team at the Old Volunteer in Carlton have been officially crowned as the Best Newcomers at the Great British Pub Awards.

Unveiled last night at the Hilton Park Lane, the Great British Pub Awards celebrate the best in the British pub sector.

Licensees Maggie and Andrew Dunkin were recognised as the Best Newcomers for their passion and enthusiasm, transforming a run-down pub into a thriving venue that celebrates the best in local beer and produce.


The duo, who were formerly IT consultants decided to give up the rat race and pursue their love of real ale, setting up the award winning Flipside Brewery in 2010 and then The Old Volunteer.

The pub on Burton Road in Carlton re-opened in May 2014, with Maggie and Andrew at the helm, following a joint £155,000 investment with Punch Taverns.

The refurbishment with owners Punch Taverns completely transformed the pub, from a tired run-down boozer into a contemporary and welcoming pub that is booming.

Judge James Evison said: “The Old Volunteer is a fantastic example of two new licensees turning around a pub. Their passion and desire shined through and the attention to detail was evident, a gold standard of how to begin a career in the pub trade.”

At the heart of Maggie and Andrew’s philosophy is their pride in living and buying locally. Everything in the pub is sourced locally and prepared on site in their tiny kitchen. They work closely with suppliers to develop their product range which includes Newark Pork Crackling, Cotgrave Pork Pies, Ostrich Burgers from Boston together with their famous Flipside Chutney.

Maggie said: “We’re delighted to be crowned the Best Newcomers in the UK. We love what we do and are passionate about real ale and that obviously shone through. The award is also a credit to The Old Volunteer’s manager Sarah and the rest the team, who have worked incredibly hard to create a fantastic pub that celebrates all that’s great about a British pub; we’re proud to bring this award back to Nottingham.”


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