A PUB on the Herefordshire border has won a top industry award for its food.

The 17th century Old Black Lion, in Hay-on-Wye, has a two AA Rosette restaurant and four-star AA accommodation, but now has another award to add to its name.

The popular pub, in Lion Street, has won a 2023 Good Food Award Winner accolade,

Founded on independence and integrity, the awards, which recognise those who strive for culinary excellence within their field, were founded in 2002.


The Good Food Awards are free to enter and entirely based on merit, organisers said.

The grade-II listed 10-bedroom inn was bought by Gill and James Walton in 2021.

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The inn is believed to trace back as early as the 13th century, although the current building is mainly 17th century and took its name from the Lion Gate; the original walled entry to Hay which is famous for its bookstores and annul literary festival.

As well as 10 bedrooms, which have been upgraded since it was last purchased in 2005, the Old Black Lion boasts a 40-cover restaurant and bar, sporting wooden beams and a stone fireplace.


The couple relocated from the south east of England to embark on their new adventure as hoteliers many years earlier than planned, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a large bearing on their change of direction in both work and life.

Mrs Walton said at the time: “We have dreamed of owning and running a gastro pub in the beautiful Welsh countryside for quite a while now but didn’t think this would happen for a number of years.

“When the opportunity to purchase the Old Black Lion came up we couldn't resist its character and charm.

"I am originally from South Wales and we both thought we would end up back here nearer retirement. We love the area, especially Hay-on-Wye, and are so glad we have the opportunity to work and raise our family in such a beautiful place.”