A wine waiter who honed his craft at a west Suffolk restaurant with a Gallic flavour has won a coveted gold award and the title Best Apprentice in France.

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The prestigious contest is organised by the world-renowned National Society of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, to honour apprentices working in 96 different trades.

Julien Gauganion, 20, who worked at The Great House in Lavenham for six months in 2012 before completing his schooling in his native county, has now returned to the celebrated restaurant to continue training as a sommelier under award-winning chef and proprietor Regis Crepy.

Mr Gauganion said: “I really enjoyed working with the team at The Great House during the Queen’s Jubilee and the skills I learnt came into excellent use during the competition. I am so pleased to return and continue my training in the wine service.” Mr Crepy said he was “extremely proud”.

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