The Old Sergeant named best community pub in Great Britain
A pub that serves up squirrel, has a menu for dogs and sends out care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan has been named the best community pub in Britain.
The Old Sergeant, in Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, scooped the award at the Great British Pub Awards 2012 earlier this month.
Landlords Keris de Villiers, husband Lee de Villiers and third partner Bronwyn Cooper have only been running the pub for a year and a half.
They had already won the award for best community pub in the South East and London region, and trounced a number of other regional winners to get the national title.
A panel of judges were impressed with the trio's ability to involve everyone, from young visitors to customers with four-legged-friends.
Its activities range from sending out care packages to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan for charity Support Our Soldiers at Christmas to running their weekly pub quizzes.
Chefs cook up an exotic roast menu on Sunday's, featuring anything from squirrel to zebra, and even has a menu for dog's to generate money for charity.
Regulars are also invited to take a cuddly toy ram, Ramrod, on holiday with them and submit pictures of him in far-flung places, with the soft toy having travelled almost 1m miles.
Speaking about the award Mrs de Villiers, 32, said: "We were so surprised, because we have only been open for a year and a half. We were a little bit speechless.
"Wandsworth is not the best area in the world, we wanted the pub to be somewhere for everyone.
"Everyone is made to feel welcome. That is our biggest aim - to make people feel part of something."
The landlords are now aiming to become the best pub to bring a dog to and one day become the best overall pub in Wandsworth.
Rob Willock, editor of The Publican Morning Advertiser, said: "The judges praised the pub's owners for placing it at the heart of the community, catering for everyone from young couples to families to football fans.
"Judges were impressed by their energy and commitment to giving the local community what they want in terms of hosting charity events, live music and two football teams
"Despite a tiny kitchen dishes are tailored to individual needs and the pub even delivers meals to regulars who can't get out."
The awards, which were organised by the Publican Morning Advertiser, are described as the 'Oscars of the pub world.'