Triple triumph for Liverpool pub business

After two years of struggling through the pandemic the owners of two popular pubs in Liverpool city centre are celebrating a triple-triumph. Tony McDonough reports

Small World Pub Company
It is a triple awards triumph for the team at the Small World Pub Company


A business that runs two popular Liverpool centre pubs has scooped three awards in just three days.

Run by Fiona and Dom Hornsby, the Small World Pub Company operates The Bridewell in Campbell Square and The Denbigh Castle in Hackins Hey. Like so many pub operators, they took a big hit during multiple COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

However, its resilience has now been recognised three times in the space of three days. At the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards held at Liverpool Cathedral last week, the business scooped two accolades.

Gerard Madden, head waiter at The Bridewell, who has worked in hospitality for 40 years, won the Unsung Hero award. This was immediately followed by The Denbigh Castle winning Pub of the Year.

Then easier this week, The Small World Pub Company scooped its third award as The Bridewell won the Liverpool CAMRA Pub of the Year. Fiona said: “It’s been a crazy but very welcome few days.

“Seeing Gerard win on Thursday night was really special. He is representative of all that is good, friendly, and knowledgeable about products and his city, and will always have time for his customers.  He spends time with our younger staff to help them develop and encourage them to be better in all that they do too.


The Denbigh Castle
Fiona and Dominic Hornsby and Ian Forster of the Small Hands Company


“Picking up the award for The Denbigh Castle was a great surprise. Of course, we were up against tough competition, but we are extra proud as we were due to open after an extensive refurbishment but were delayed by almost six months during the early part of the pandemic.

“We’ve been trading through such difficult times too with so many restrictions and so few people in and around the city centre, but Stuart Riley our manager and his team were an example to all through their hard work and dedication in building the business. To win this award is amazing and a real lift to morale for the team.

“As for our third award for The Bridewell, there are so many wonderful cask ale pubs in the Liverpool region, it’s a privilege to win such a prestigious award. Dominic and his team have worked so hard offering a range and quality of cask ale alongside all our other products. 

“At times given the restrictions, it was tricky to even source beer and with trading levels being so variable, quality was hard to maintain but we did it.”

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