The Queens pub at Freehay named one of best in the country
FATHER-TO-BE Adrian Rock is toasting the success of his traditional pub after it was named one of the best in the country.
The 47-year-old, who runs The Queens at Freehay, near Cheadle, was delighted after the village landmark was chosen as a main entry in this year's Good Pub Guide.
Mr Rock, who is expecting his first child next month with partner Karen, said: "It shows that we are still doing something right and a lot of our customers are putting in recommendations with the Good Pub Guide.
"We have created a well-liked eating and drinking place with high-quality food that is renowned throughout the area."
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The family-run pub and restaurant has been featured in the guide throughout the couple's 12 years of ownership.
And it is as popular for local speciality dishes, like Staffordshire pigeon breasts, as it is for the relaxed ambience.
Mr Rock, from Stallington, near Blythe Bridge, said: "We must be doing the right things to be featured again and we are naturally very pleased."
The 2013 edition of the guide was released today and offers pub-goers a head start in hunting down the best boozers. Mr Rock bought the pub off his mum and step dad Anne and Graham Yates after they retired to Stone in 2001.
They had previously owned six other pubs in the area including the Poachers Tavern at Rudyard, The George at Waterhouses and The Izaac Walton in Creswell.
The entry for the book reads: "Pleasant, welcoming staff serve Charles Wells Bombardier and Peakstones Rock Alton Abbey from handpump; background music.
"The attractive little back garden with its mature shrubs and neatly arranged picnic-sets is kept in immaculate condition."
The Queens is one of four pubs across Staffordshire that has made the cut.
The Yew Tree in Cauldon, the Holly Bush in Salt and the ever-popular Hand & Trumpet at Wrinehill have all been featured.
There were no new entries for Staffordshire this year.
Meanwhile, in Cheshire the Egerton Arms at Astbury was a main entry along with The Old Hall in Sandbach.
The guide is divided into counties to find the best pubs in each part of the UK.
These are annually updated with a short list of main entries which have been fully inspected.
Mr Rock said: "Unfortunately it is a sign of the times to see pubs close down so I think it is important to celebrate the best of the trade.
"To me the pub is the hub of the community and it is very sad to see others go under."
Fiona Stapley, joint editor of the Good Pub Guide, said: "People love eating out at pubs as opposed to restaurants because the atmosphere is more informal – and the food is just as good, if not better."