The Exeter Arms bags Best in Northants title

Published on November 16, 2012

The Exeter Arms at Easton on the Hill – part of the Great Food Club network – has been named Restaurant of the Year in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13. Best Pub or Bar Restaurant went to The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington.

All the winners of the competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), were announced on November 14, 2012 at The Wing, Silverstone.

New Local Product of the Year was scooped by The Pickled Village of Bulwick (also part of Great Food Club), for its Hot Runner chutney.

It was a night of double celebrations for Duncan and Sarah Evans of The Saracen’s Head, who not only watched their head chef, William Mountain, pick up the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ award but also took the Best Pub title.

“We were already so delighted that Will had won earlier in the evening, but then to hear the venue’s name called out as well was just the icing on the cake,” said Sarah. “The whole team put their heart and soul into everything they do and this is real recognition of their wonderful efforts. We are all just chuffed to bits.”

Those full list of winners are:

Restaurant of the Year
Winner: The Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill
Runners-up: Oundle Mill, Oundle; and The Seafood Café, Northampton

Pub or Bar Restaurant of the Year
Winner: The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington
Runner-up: The Royal Oak at Eydon

Local Food Hero of the Year
Winner: Gerald Bailey of Newlands Farm, Hannington
Runners-up: Pudding Pie Cookery School, Middleton Cheney; and Seven Wells Butchers, Oundle

Artisan Local Product/Drink of the Year
Winner: Home Cured Bacon – Sauls of Spratton, Spratton
Runner-up: Fire Bellied Toad – Frog Island Brewery, Northampton

New Local Product of the Year
Winner: The Hot Runner – The Pickled Village, Bulwick
Runner-up: Fruity Apple and Plum Chutney – The Village Orchard, Flore

New Local Drink of the Year
Winner: Golden Russet Apple Juice – The Village Orchard, Flore
Runners-up: Hart No. 1 (4.1%) – Hart Family Brewers, Wellingborough; and Hop Trotter – Potbelly Brewery, Kettering

Spice Chef of the Year
Winner: Bodrul Islam – Saffron, Northampton
Runner-up: Hao Dang – Dang’s, Northampton

Young Chef of the Year
Winner: William Mountain – The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington
Runner-up: Viktorija Bernataviciute – The Wig and Pen, Northampton

Booker Chef of the Year
Winner: James Ingram – Mercedes Benz AMG, Brixworth
Runner-up: Liam Goodwill – Rushton Hall, Rushton

Northamptonshire Jubilee Breakfast
Winner: The Church Restaurant, Northampton
Runner-up: Oundle Mill, Oundle

Community Pub of the Year – Town
Winner: The Swan and Helmet, Northampton
Runner-up: The Lamplighter, Northampton

Community Pub of the Year – Rural
Winner: The George, Tiffield
Runner-up: The Stag’s Head, Great Doddington

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Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.