Ye Olde Fighting Cocks squaring off against nine others for tourism award

PUBLISHED: 12:57 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:43 13 February 2018

Christo Tofalli - pictured by Stephanie Belton

Christo Tofalli - pictured by Stephanie Belton

Archant

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks has got its gloves on for the final bout of the national Tourism Superstar award.

After seeing off hundreds of opponents, the landlord of the St Albans inn, Christo Tofalli, is one of the 10 finalists for the prestigious award.

Christo said: “I am delighted to have made the shortlist for this national award.

“It’s a huge honour to be nominated of behalf of the team as it’s not just me that welcomes people with a smile.

“I am particularly pleased for our incredible city. We are just one of the jewels in the crown of historic St Albans and we just try our best here to run a fantastic pub to do justice to this wonderful location. We want to give everyone a cracking welcome - so they come back, not only to the pub but also to St Albans.

“The community here is second to none - and without all the other local businesses we wouldn’t be able to thrive.”

The pub regularly features in the Herts Advertiser for its numerous charity initiatves and most recently for Christo’s ambitious vision for its £1m redevelopment, as supported by the newspaper’s Fighting for the Cocks campaign.

The Tourism Superstar award is run by Visit England to celebrate the unsung heroes of the domestic tourism industry.

The competition organisers said: “We’re looking for people who far exceed the call of duty to ensure visitors have an amazing experience, whether it’s on a day trip or a holiday.

“Christo took over the oldest pub in the country in 2012 when it was struggling to attract visitors and has put it back on the map.

“He has turned the fortunes of this pub around, re-establishing it as an important landmark as well as a fantastic pub and restaurant, while banging the drum for the city and UK tourism too.

“The pub now regularly attracts visitors from as far afield as the USA and Australia. This building of historic significance is in safe hands.”

You can vote for Christo at https://www.mirror.co.uk/travel/uk-ireland/meet-finalists-2018-tourism-superstar-11992093 and you could win a week’s holiday at a luxury cottage or a weekend break to London just for joining in.Voting closes at midnight on March 20.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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