The top festive taverns in St Albans are set to be decided as the next stage of the Retailer of the Year awards gets underway.

People have been naming their favourite shops and businesses around St Albans City Centre located in St Peters Street, Catherine Street, London Road, Chequer Street, the High Street, the top part of Verulam Road and Holywell Hill.

Mystery shoppers will visit the businesses, which have received nominations between November 27 and December 11, before the shortlisted retailers will be announced on January 2.

Now the organisers of the competition will also visit different pubs around the city centre on December 15 to decide the winner of the festive pubs category.

The competition began nearly ten years ago as the brainchild of Cllr Roma Mills, who represents Batchwood and Martin Buhagiar, the former editor of the Review.

Together they built the competition up with the support of the St Albans Civic Society, the Chamber of Commerce and St Albans District Council, with the aim of supporting and promoting the city centre.

The competition did not run last year as they lost two members of the group and a break “was needed”, however, it is making a comeback once more again this winter.

Cllr Roma Mills, who represents the Batchwood Ward, said: “This is your chance to give your favourite shop or hair salon a real boost.”

A gala night will be held at the Alban Arena on January 29.

What is your favourite festive pub in St Albans? Let us know by emailing