News Release

August, 2020

North Yorkshire country pub in running for hattrick of awards success

A North Yorkshire country pub, which has fought for its very survival during the coronavirus pandemic, is in the running for its third award this year.

The Drovers Arms, at Skipwith, near Selby, has been shortlisted for the second year running in the Best Pub category in Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Tourism Awards.

The restaurant and county pub – which last year invested more than £30,000 in its kitchen facilities – is a popular destination for both food and real ale lovers alike.

Owned and managed by MATTGRAY Hospitality, The Drovers Arms is renowned for its friendly atmosphere, as well as the locally-sourced homemade food and a collection of over 70 gins.

In April, the pub and restaurant was crowned Pub of the Year in the 2020 Visit York Tourism Awards.

A month earlier, and just before the enforced closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic, it won the Tourism/Leisure Business of the Year Award in the Selby District Business Awards 2020.

Three weeks after temporarily calling last orders the MATTGRAY team, led by co-directors Graham Usher and Matt Rose, began opening on weekends offering a selection of homecooked takeaway meals.

On Fridays is became a ‘chippy’, Saturdays a pizzeria, and, on Sundays it served up traditional selection of roast lunches.

As the lockdown continued – and demand increased – The Drovers began expanding its opening days and menu choices to include their very own finger lickin’ ‘DFC’(Drovers Fried Chicken) on Thursdays, burgers, traditional spam fritters, desserts and sell out takeaway afternoon teas.

 Ahead of the hospitality industry being able to reopen its doors last month, the team increased the number of outdoor tables and chairs, whilst at the same time reducing the seating inside to comply with social distancing measures.

MATTGRAY Hospitality Managing Director Graham Usher said: “Being shortlisted in this year’s White Rose Tourism Awards is simply brilliant news.

“This announcement comes on the back of our double success in the Selby District Business Award and the Visit York Tourism Awards. We are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that three could be our lucky number!

“To say 2020 has been the most challenging year ever is a total understatement. But thanks to the great team here at the Drovers, and of course our customers, we have battled through.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have done at the Drovers over the last few years, and in particular the way the team has risen to all the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at us.

“We are really looking forward to the awards night and celebrating alongside our colleagues in hospitality and tourism.”

The White Rose Awards are planned to take place towards the end of this year, with the exact date and venue to be announced soon.

Further information on The Drovers Arms can be found on their website:

Further information about MATTGRAY Hospitality, and the services it offers, are available from its website,


For Further Information, please contact:

Graham Usher/Matt Rose, MATTGRAY Hospitality, on 01757 616071

David Simister, Different PR, 0845 389 26 26