The Old Passage took home the most coveted prize at the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards on Monday – Restaurant of the Year.
Despite being a small, independent restaurant in the small village of Arlingham, The Old Passage fought off stiff competition from popular restaurants in Cheltenham and Chipping Campden to win the award.
It completes a fantastic 12 months for the restaurant, located on the banks of the River Severn. In October last year The Old Passage celebrated its 10th anniversary, closely followed by winning Best Seafood Restaurant in the South at the national Food Awards.
Then in April, Waitrose magazine named The Old Passage one of 10 best places to eat fresh fish in the country.
Owner Sally Pearce, said: “The last 12 months have been a real whirlwind of celebrations for us at The Old Passage and this last award is the icing on the cake, especially since nominations came from the public. As a small independent restaurant, it’s tough to compete with the growing chain restaurant offerings, especially when we’re not in a town or city centre.
“However, we’ve always played to our strengths and that seems to work. People travel here to eat because of the beautiful rural location and river views, and our food offering is unique and high quality. We have a commitment to sourcing the very best quality seafood we can including oysters and lobsters, which we always have available. And our head chef Jon Lane and his team are constantly innovating and experimenting with new dishes to delight our diners.
Sally added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Jon, to my front of house manager Rosita Redwood, and the whole team at The Old Passage, because we wouldn’t have got this award without them.”
The judges of the awards said they were ‘wowed’ by the amazing selection of seafood available and the warm friendly service at The Old Passage. They said: “The location of the restaurant is superb with breath-taking view of the riverside, the ambience made the judges feel at home and it was commented that they couldn’t have asked for friendlier service. The seafood sampled was cooked to perfection and it was learnt how they source as much produce as locally as possible and sustainably catch their seafood, which impressed the judges.”