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Edinburgh and Borders pubs vie to win title of Britain’s top rugby pub

A pub from Edinburgh and one from the Borders will battle it out with three pubs south of the border to be crowned Britain’s top rugby pub.

Published: March 22, 2018
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The bars have made it to the finals of Aberdeen Standard Investments Melrose Sevens rugby pub of the year competition which was announced a few weeks ago.

Driven by suggestions made by fans from all over Britain, the top five were whittled down from a shortlist from all across the country.

The final five were:

Athletic Arms - known as the Diggers - Edinburgh

The person who nominated wrote: “It gives a warm and friendly welcome whoever you’re supporting, it‘s a short walk to Murrayfield and serves a great pint and award winning pies before and after the game.”

The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham 

“Serves incredible food, run by incredible people and it’s in the home of rugby. Only place to go if you’re a rugby fan! The two go hand in hand.”

Merchants Inn, Rugby

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“Just metres from the pitch at Rugby School where William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran - plus it has a great range of beer.”

The Palmeira, Hove

“Great pub, great service, tasty food and good choice of beer.”

The Buccleuch Arms Hotel, Moffat

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“Definitely the place to be on a rugby day! Best food ever, log fires, bespoke gin and beers to die for.”

Now it’s up to rugby fans themselves to choose the overall winner from the five British hostelries that have made it to the finals in a poll on social media.

Douglas Hardie, president of Melrose Rugby Club said: “Over 12,000 people will descend on the Borders town of Melrose to see Sevens action on April 14, but with television coverage from the BBC, the event is beamed out to rugby fans at home and abroad.

“For rugby fans who aren’t able to travel to the Borders to cheer on the home and international teams, many will savour match day action in bars or pubs. In our quest to find Britain’s top rugby pub, fans have told us that a great range of beer, delicious food, roaring fires, friendly staff and a buzzing atmosphere are among the qualities that make their locals special.

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“However, just like the Melrose Sevens, there can only be one winner of Britain’s best rugby pub, and now it’s over to the public to pick their favourite from our shortlist.”

Voting is free and easy – choose your winner by completing the simple voting form on the Melrose Sevens social media platforms or Twitter @melrosevens

The winner will be announced on March 28, and the pub that gains the most votes will receive the coveted title and an inscribed plaque to recognise the achievement.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Melrose Sevens takes place at The Greenyards on Saturday April 14 with tickets for the event starting at £10 for children, £15 for senior citizens and £20 for adults. Family tickets are available for £50, admitting two adults and two children.

Those who can't make it to Melrose can catch all of the coverage on BBC from - or in their favourite watering hole - from 2pm -7pm.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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