A Dereham pub’s beer garden has been shortlisted as one of the best in the nation, by the Great British Pub Awards this year.

The Brisley Bell has been named a finalist out of hundreds of pubs that entered the awards.

After going through two rounds of rigorous judging, the popular pub is one of two pubs in Norfolk that made it to the finals in any category.

The pub is owned by Amelia Nicholson and Marcus Seaman, who were both thrilled when they were told they’d been shortlisted.

Dereham Times: The Brisley Bell won Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards.The Brisley Bell won Pub of the Year 2019 at the Eat Norfolk Food And Drink Awards. (Image: Copyright: Archant 2019)

Ameila said: “We put ourselves forward for best pub garden because we have been very fortunate to have won other awards for our rooms and our food, but not for our garden.”

The pub has previously won Pub of the Year at the EAT Norfolk Food and Drink Awards and were named the Best Pub with Rooms in 2019 by The Sunday Times.

She continued: “When we bought the pub back in 2015, it was derelict and there was no garden at all.

“So, we had to build it from scratch and it’s now over two acres.

“My partner went to agricultural school and grew up on a farm, so his expertise really helped to design and build it.

“It’s been a real labour of love.

“But we recently put a lot of work into the garden, and obviously because of Covid we really wanted to embrace people being outside.”

This meant investing in new garden furniture and creating a whole new outdoor eating area called The Shed.

Dereham Times: The outdoor patio of the Brisley Bell.The outdoor patio of the Brisley Bell. (Image: Archant)

Despite having won many awards before, the owners were still shocked to be shortlisted.

“We were totally delighted when we found out.

“When you enter the awards, because it’s nationwide, you have no idea who you’re up against.

“We met with one of the representatives who came to meet us, but they turned up unannounced and he admitted he'd ordered a coffee and sat around to observe the pub.”

Dubbing themselves as the ‘Oscars of the pub industry’, The Great British Pub Awards are to reward and celebrate the work pubs do for this country and their communities.