Fuller's Griffin Trophy

Fuller’s chairman, Michael Turner (left) present the Griffin Trophy to Marc Duvauchelle, of the Old Customs House, Portsmouth


The Old Customs House, on Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays, has won Fuller’s annual pub of the year title, and the coveted Griffin Trophy.

The pub, run by Marc Duvauchelle, won the top prize ahead of 400 other Fuller’s pubs for its commitment to building the pub’s reputation, with exceptional standards throughout all areas of the business.

Following an extensive selection process, the final nine contenders were visited by Fuller’s chairman, Michael Turner, chief executive, Simon Emeny, and corporate affairs director, Richard Fuller, and a winner was chosen.

The result was announced at a ceremony held in the board room at the company’s famous Griffin Brewery, in Chiswick, West London. The Old Customs House also took first prize in the competition’s best town / local pub category.

Michael Turner said: “I am delighted to be presenting the Griffin Trophy to Marc and the team at The Old Customs House. It’s an incredible site — formerly part of HMS Vernon, a shore establishment for the Royal Navy’s Torpedo Branch since 1876 — but now a multi-floor pub with 13 different areas for customers to enjoy.

Complex site

“This makes it a very complex site to manage and it is to Marc’s credit that he uses this space with amazing results. Delivering delicious, freshly-cooked seasonal dishes from the kitchen and a vibrant range of drinks to an ever-growing number of customers, Marc is an aspirational role model for other Fuller’s managers.

“The Old Customs House caters for the many visitors to the nearby Gunwharf Quay shopping centre — from millennials to pensioners — and Marc and his team have a keen focus on delighting them all, reflected in his 100% mystery customer score.

“It is fantastic to see such an iconic pub, in an area of intense competitive activity, doing so well, and I look forward to seeing Marc develop the business even further. It is a pub that must be visited if you are in the area.”

Marc said: “This is a fantastic surprise. A pub is nothing without its people, so I would like to thank all my customers who have supported the pub and my wonderful staff, who make the pub what it is.”

The prize for the winning pub comprises a £5,000 holiday, a staff party, an engraved plaque and the Griffin Trophy.

Category winners

Best hotel / inn
The Bull Hotel, Bridport, Dorset
Runner-up: The Ivy House, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire 

Best country / village pub
The Old Plough, Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham
Runner-up: The Windmill Inn, Portishead, Bristol 

Best town / local pub
The Old Customs House, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
Runner-up: The Queen’s Head, Farnham

Best  city / London pub
The Hereford Arms, South Kensington, London
Runner-up: The Sail Loft, Victoria Parade, London
Runner-up: London’s Pride, Queens Terminal, Heathrow Airport

Customs House Portsmouth