With Open Arms – The Exeter Arms

The people of Peterborough and the surrounding region are pretty well served when it comes to food. Now, a restaurant near Stamford has achieved official recognition for the excellence of its fare

The Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill – part of All Saints’ Hotels Ltd, who also own The Crown, Stamford – was awarded Best Restaurant of the Year 2012/13 by Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012-13 in an award ceremony that took place in November at The Wing, Silverstone.

Sue Olver, co-owner of All Saints’ Hotels Ltd could not be more delighted. The team at The Exeter Arms are extremely excited to be the winner of such a prestigious award, particularly when up against some very stiff competition

The strong shortlist of contenders included Frank’s Steakhouse, (Northampton), Murrays at Whittlebury Hall, Oundle Mill, The Raj (Kettering) and The Seafood Café (Northampton). She added

I am particularly proud that the judges commented on the excellence of service as well as the high standard of food

The competition, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), is in its fourth year and is aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The finalists in each category were selected from a record number of entries from across the county, and the shortlisting was based not only on individual entry forms – which required each venue to demonstrate its celebration of the use of local produce and the variety and value of its food and drink menus – but also the results of a series of anonymous visits conducted throughout the summer by a team of ‘mystery shoppers’. Their scores took into account factors such as ambience, speed of service, staff knowledge of the menu and its local sourcing, in addition to the quality of the food.

Among the judges making the difficult decisions were the Editor of Great Food Magazine, Matthew Wright, Eli Farrington from Farrington Oils (whose Balsamic Vinegar Dressing currently holds the title of ‘Best Local Product’), and Vita and Jeff Whitaker from the Thrapston-based catering equipment specialists, Whitco, who sponsor two of the competition categories.
Exeter Arms Head Chef, Simon Pollendine, who collected the award with colleague Linda Ramsden said

It is a great honour for the team as a whole to collect such an award. It came as a great surprise, but a very pleasant one. It is always pleasing to be recognised for the hard work that is put into our food by the kitchen brigade and into the service by our Front of House team

The Exeter Arms adds this award to an AA rosette which has been held for three consecutive years, and Highly Recommended in The Publican’s Morning Advertiser Best Gastropub of the year at last year’s awards ceremony.

All Saints’ Hotels Limited comprises The Crown Hotel, Stamford, The Exeter Arms in Easton on the Hill and The White Hart in Ufford. All three establishments offer uniquely styled accommodation, local and seasonal produce is prevalent in all menus alongside excellent wine lists and bar offering.

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