OUR Pub Of The Week is one which has one of the most beautiful settings in Worcester.

The Mug House in Claines, to the north of the city, sits surrounded by countryside, with views of the Malverns, and clearly holds a huge attraction for landlady Judy Allen, who has run the pub for more than three decades.

Judy’s son Russell Allen is the bar manager on site and he is ably assisted by a team of bar staff including Charlotte, Kaz, Denise, Katie and Bailey.

The Mug House is located in the grounds of Claines Church. A traditional English pub with a 900-year history, the Mug House stands on consecrated ground and was once the church ale house.

With such beautiful surroundings, it would be wasteful not to have outdoor areas from which to drink in the atmosphere – so The Mug House has three. Two are to be found at the front of the building and one at the rear, all of which provide seating areas for guests.

And it’ll come as no surprise, looking at the main picture of the pub, to learn that The Mug House has regularly won the Pub of the Year class in the local In Bloom competitions.

In fact, the outdoor attraction might have been a contributing factor to the fact that, many years ago, the pub had a darts team who were renowned for being the ‘worst darts team ever’ as they never managed to win a game.

This become a light-hearted jest amongst the team members and regulars the Mug House. To help provide some advice and guidance, the team were even visited by professional dart player, Bobby George.

But sport did provide Judy with her most memorable moment in her 31 years at The Mug House when local horse, Pineau De Re, won the 2014 Grand National.

Worcester News:

The Mug House has been in place for 900 years

Judy said: “A very special moment for us here was when we hosted the celebratory party for Pineau De Re, who was trained and stabled in Claines.

“The pub was jam-packed and it was such a special day, everyone came together to celebrate.”

Punters no doubt enjoyed traditional ales from Banks’s on that day, along with some of the guest ales the pub serves up.

On weekdays and Saturdays, during lunchtime, the pub offers a traditional lunch menu including a Ploughman’s, home-baked ham, egg and chips and a variety of sandwiches.

But it’s the chicken and duck eggs, as well as the home-baked ham which prove to be the most popular options on the menu.

Judy said: “Coronavirus has created many challenges for the hospitality industry. However, since reopening our doors, we have been overwhelmed with support from the local community who have emphasised how they do not wish to lose the pub as it’s truly one of a kind.

“I’ve been running a pub for a while and coronavirus has been the biggest challenge we have faced. We did not reopen the pub until August 9, due to shielding.

“However since welcoming back our customers we have received some amazing support that we are extremely grateful for.

“The thing I love the most about running a pub is the people you meet and to see others make new friends.

“Our pub is a real hub for the local area and I’ve been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people and form true friendships.”

It almost goes without saying that the worst thing about running a pub is the hours, although, as Judy says: “It’s demanding and requires hard work, but I’ve been here over 30 years and wouldn’t change a thing.”

• Calling all landlords in and around Worcester. Would you like to be featured as our Pub Of The Week?

It’s easy to do – just fill in a simple Q&A here – tell us a few details, attach a couple of pictures and your pub can feature in the paper, on our website and on our social media.