Oldest Pub does the Double in Nantwich in Bloom Competition

Nantwich in Bloom judges have raised a glass to the town’s oldest pub awarding it a double for floral excellence.

Nantwich Mayor Peter Groves presents the certificates in The Black Lion Courtyard garden

The historic Black Lion on Welsh Row carried off a certificate of Excellence for its floral contribution to the town and another as a joint winner in the newcomer category after providing dazzling displays of colour throughout the spring and summer.

Black Lion on Welsh Row

And thanks to landlord Darren Snell’s green-fingers some of the blooms have lasted well into the autumn, adding a glorious splash of colour to the pub’s timber-framed frontage and courtyard garden.

He said: “Nantwich in Bloom volunteers do excellent work keeping the town looking beautiful with flowers and I think it’s important we support them. The displays help put Nantwich on the map as a visitor town and add to the vibrant atmosphere.

“Pubs look all the more welcoming with hanging baskets so we do our best to keep them blooming for as long as possible. To get this recognition from Nantwich in Bloom is a really nice pat on the back.”

When he is not behind the bar or working with his team in the kitchen, Darren is on ladders dead-heading bright red geranium hanging baskets and tending the courtyard garden displays which include a blue agapanthus and red Campsis, commonly known as the trumpet creeper, still flowering beyond their season.

The landlord, who has worked at famous restaurants including the London Dorchester Hotel, welcomed Nantwich Mayor Peter Groves who was in town presenting certificates.

Cllr Groves said: “Businesses like The Black Lion play an important part in the Nantwich visitor economy and make a valuable contribution to the overall appeal of the town. They put a tremendous amount of time and effort into tending their displays and it’s been good to give them the recognition they deserve.”

Nantwich in Bloom officials are busy handing out certificates in the categories of pubs, food shops, cafes and restaurants, non-food shops, commercial premises and community venues.

Committee chairman Sue Sherwood said: “The Black Lion has made great use of a small courtyard with pots and climbers and water feature plants. We were impressed with the landlord’s plant knowledge too.”

The Black Lion, dating back to 1664, is regarded as Nantwich’s oldest pub. An inn has been on the site since then and historians believe possibly even before.

For more on the pub and its popular food and drink offering visit blacklionnantwich.co.uk

For a full round up of Nantwich in Bloom winners go to the website.