In common with many hospitality businesses the last few years have been tough for The White Horse as it dealt with the impact of Covid and the cost of living crisis.

But now the pub has something to shout about after being judged Hospitality Venue of the Year in the Telegraph and Argus Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Awards.

The category was sponsored by Herald Plastic.

The Thornton venue was taken over by the Simcoe family in 2013 and has built a strong reputation for its restaurant quality food served in the casual atmosphere of a pub.

Joint owner and executive chef Daniel Simcoe said he felt elated to win the award.
“It was really emotional to have some recognition - it was a lovely night.”

Daniel and his team were surprised when they found out that the presentation ceremony was to be held at The Broadway.

“When we learnt that it was at The Broadway I think we were a bit shocked because we didn’t expect that the whole thing could be transformed into what it was,” he said.

“There were six of us there and every single one of us was blown away. It was fabulous.”

Daniel said they had no idea who had nominated The White Horse but they knew it was a customer.

“They said some really nice things,” he said.

“We read it on the night. There was a paper on the table going through all the nominees and that was the first time that we had read it - which was maybe about 50 minutes before we were announced as winners, so it was really nice.

“It’s 100 per cent someone who comes in regularly. They said that they’ve made so many memories over the years they’ve been coming here.”

He added: “When you run your own business you don’t always get recognition, but for someone to actually go out of their way to do this and then for it to be judged as well, was amazing.”

Winners of 2023's Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Awards

Find out about the winners by clicking each category below.