Shortlisted operators are now set to go head-to-head in a second round of judging that will see their businesses scrutinised by The Morning Advertiser's (MA) food and drink team for the chance win Best Newcomer or Front of House Team of the Year.
MA food & drink editor Nicholas Robinson said: “Yet again, the standard of entries for these awards was phenomenally high, proving, once again, the outstanding quality of food and service available in our sector.”
Newcomer of the Year:
- The Unruly Pig, Bromeswell, Suffolk
- The Swan Inn, Chiddingfold, Surrey
- The Turks Head, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Front of House Team of the Year:
- The Jugged Hare, Moorgate, London
- The Treby Arms, Sparkwell, Devon
- The Rat Inn, Hexham, Northumberland
The winners will be announced alongside the unveiling of the full 2017 Top 50 list at an exclusive awards ceremony on 30 January at Anglian Country Inns’ site Hermitage Road in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
Brendan Padfield, owner of the Unruly Pig, told MA: “We’ve had a tremendous and tumultuous year – we were only open 12 weeks and then we had a catastrophic fire, which meant we had to close for the best part of six months.
“To come back and to have this nomination on top of getting in the Good Food Guide and the Michelin guide is really the icing on the cake, we’re absolutely thrilled.”
In 2016's awards earlier this year, the Kentish Hare, Bidborough, Kent, run by well-known chef brothers Chris and James Tanner, scooped the Best Newcomer award.
Front of House Manager of the Year (now changed to reflect the work of entrants’ entire Front-of-house teams) was scooped by Agnieszka Tyczka of the Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire, which also came 6th in the list.