TWO Dorset pubs have picked up regional awards this month courtesy of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) an independent voluntary consumer organisation.

The Owl’s Nest in West Parley won East Dorset CAMRA’s Rural Pub of the Season award and The Firkin Shed in Bournemouth won regional Cider Pub of the Year.

Richard and Jacqui Muir took over The Owl’s Nest from Richard’s parents which is described as “a family-run free house popular for its real ale, great food and live music”.

Richard grew up in the pub trade as his parents used to run the Whincroft Hotel in Ferndown before moving to Ollies, a private members club, in 1989 which later became The Owl’s Nest which they ran for 13 years.

The husband and wife team are keen real ale drinkers and the pub sells locally sourced food including Jacqui’s popular homemade pies.

The Firkin Shed has won several awards over the past 12 months including the Wessex and Channel Islands CAMRA Regional Cider Pub of the Year 2018, Cider Pub of the Year 2017 and Beer Drinkers’ Pub of the Year 2017.

Former self-employed painter and decorator, Paul Early Peaking Gray and his wife, Lisa, have been running the quirky micropub in Springbourne for three years.

A spokeswoman for CAMRA said: “They have attracted a fan base of people that appreciate the convivial atmosphere, the eclectic music, the diverse range of real ale, craft beer, English gins and of course real cider and perry.”

The regional Cider Pub of the Year is a result of voting by CAMRA members across the Wessex and Channel Islands in recognition of its “consistent range, quality and knowledge of the real ciders”. This latest award puts the pub into the finals of CAMRA’s National Cider Pub of the Year competition.