The Bib Gourmand recognises pubs and restaurants that are typically more affordable and comfortable than their Michelin-starred counterparts.
Calton explained how he found out his quayside pub in North Shields, Tyne and Wear had been awarded the accolade.
He told The Morning Advertiser: “It was totally unexpected. We were out in the countryside and didn’t have any phone signal.
“As soon as we got a signal, my phone started going off in my pocket and there was a message from Andrew Fishwick (formerly of the Truscott Arms in Maida Vale, west London) congratulating us on the Bib.
“We didn’t have a clue what he was talking about as we weren’t even sure it had been announced but really, it was a nice way to find out.”
Calton outlined how much being awarded the accolade meant to himself and his team at the Staith House.
“It is a massive thing for the team and for the pub. It is an amazing achievement, another huge national recognition and everybody here is just delighted. I was speechless,” he said.
Strength of cooking
But the chef-patron was not just full of praise for his site and staff, he also highlighted the evolution of pub food.
He said: “It shows the strength of cooking in pubs these days because you rarely see [Bib Gourmands] in pubs.
“You never quite know when people are at the pub to inspect you so it shows a sign of consistency because inspectors come and eat but don’t always reveal themselves.
“We had no idea we were going to get a Bib Gourmand so that says a lot about the standard when you don’t know you have been inspected then you get a surprise like this. It speaks volumes about the consistency.”