As Roger Protz from the The Herts Advertiser reports here Christo Tofalli locked the doors of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Abbey Mill Lane and cracked several bottles of champagne with his staff when he heard the ancient hostelry had been named the best pub in St Albans for the second year running in the city's food and drink awards.


"We had a good night!" he grins. "When we heard we'd made it to the shortlist of six pubs, we never thought we'd go on and win the top prize again."

It's a remarkable achievement. St Albans has 50 pubs - that's more per square mile than any other town or city in the country. 


But the Fighting Cocks is special. It's in a striking location on the edge of Verulamium Park and lake, and just downhill from the imposing bulk of the abbey. It's officially the oldest inn in Britain - that's according to the Guinness Book of Records. Not everyone agrees with that but it would be a mistake to allow controversy to overshadow Christo and his team's award and the brilliant job they've done in restoring the pub's fortunes.