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Lidgate Star, near Newmarket, celebrates prestigious Camra award just four months after new landlords took over

A village pub near Newmarket has won a prestigious award just four months after being taken over by new landlords.

Lidgate Star was taken over in December by joint managers Julian White and Julian Swainson, who have already made sweeping changes which seem to have found favour with people in the community, who are turning up in increasing numbers.

Also showing their approval are members of the West Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which has named the Star its pub of the season.

Julian White and Julian Swainson behind the bar at The Star with Simon Plume from CAMRA
Julian White and Julian Swainson behind the bar at The Star with Simon Plume from CAMRA

The group’s social secretary, Simon Plume, called in to present the two Julians with their certificates, which will be displayed behind the bar.

“They only took over the pub four months ago and have already turned it into a go-to destination, which is a remarkable feat for a village pub these days,” said Simon.

Julian White said that he and his partner had taken the decision to change the pub from its focus on meals and to make it drinks-led.

With 115 different beers available, including six hand-pulled pumps of real ale, 14 different draft beers, craft ciders and an extensive collection of craft beer cans, the Star can offer something to appeal to almost every palate, including 10 non-alcoholic beers.

As many as possible are sourced locally and producers include very small micro-brewers up to Southwold-based giants Adnams.

Although the pub has moved away from its previous food base, customers can still order a home-made pizza and other items are on offer at weekends

Events are planned weekly and monthly with cocktail nights, wine and gin tastings and meet-the-brewer sessions, which have already proved popular. They will also be hosting alternate monthly real ale and craft beer festivals.

A bar billiards table has been installed and weekly practice sessions started in order to get a team together to play in the Sudbury League next season and the managers are keen to attract anyone with knowledge of the pub’s long history, thought to go back about 400 years, to visit.

Opening hours are 4-11pm Monday to Friday and 10am-11pm on Saturday and Sunday – and it never closes early. Call 01638 500275 for more information.