A NORTH Dorset pub has been named as the best venue in the county.

The Crown Hotel in Blandford was one of 94 individual sites named as the best venues in their respective counties.

The National Pub & Bar Awards aims to “put the finest on-trade businesses across the UK in the spotlight”. The pubs, which have been selected on overall best practice across a number of operational categories, will be officially crowned at a red carpet celebration in London on May 22.

At the grand final, which is hosted by restaurant critic Jay Rayner, 15 Regional Winners will also be announced, as well as the esteemed accolade – the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year.

Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, which hosts the event said: “From idyllic countryside pubs to inner city cocktail bars, this is the most eclectic and exciting industry in the world.

“It’s a privilege to help these businesses get the recognition they deserve.”