The Lion Brasserie has been named the winner of the Taste of East of England Award, sponsored by Adnams, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022.

Located in the heart of Constable country, The Lion Brasserie in East Bergholt, Suffolk was opened in 2020 after two and a half years of renovation.

Owner Jonathan Peachey wanted to create an elegant dining experience for the local community and tourists alike.

Opening during the pandemic brought many challenges for the team at The Lion, but it adapted by offering takeaways and erecting a large sail tent in the garden for outside dining.

The new bar serves the finest local products including real ales, champagne and an enviable wine list. While the state-of-the-art kitchen utilises fish sourced from Mersea Island, meat from Hadleigh and fresh fruit, vegetables and fruit juices from Manningtree.

The judges commended the brasserie for its “superb” level of service, both in knowledge and friendliness. They were highly impressed with how much of the food and drink is sourced locally and the fact that the meat and fish is sustainable.

James Barber, general manager at The Lion Brasserie, said: “Because we opened in the middle of a pandemic, we had a year and a half of cooking what we believe in and serving what we believe in.

“We’ve genuinely just been true to life. Using honest ingredients, local ingredients, and we cook them sensibly. We’re very passionate about where we source our ingredients from.”

About the sponsor

Adnams is a fiercely independent brewers and has been since it first put down roots in Southwold, England in 1872. It is also a distinctive distiller, wine merchant, retailer, publican and hotelier.
Adnams is proud of its achievements and heritage. Reputation is everything as customers are at the heart of everything Adnams does.

Its constantly looking to the future, searching the horizon to find inspiration, while also proudly supporting the communities and causes that it believes make a positive difference.

The finalists

The Maids Head Hotel – Highly Commended

The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, Norfolk offers a range of dining experiences in its restaurant – which has 2AA Rosettes – lounge, the Maids Head Bar and the Inside Out Courtyard. The judges described the food at The Maids Head as “absolutely delicious”.

Pig & Whistle Restaurant – Highly Commended

Serving seasonal menus featuring classic British dishes with exotic influences, Pig & Whistle Restaurant in Chelmsford, Essex has won multiple awards and serves food which the judges said is of an “exceptional” standard in terms of taste and presentation, accompanied by delicious wines.

Alma Inn and Dining Rooms

The skilled chefs at The Alma Inn and Dining Rooms in Harwich, Essex serve locally-sourced food seven days a week including fresh lobster, fish and locally-grown vegetables. The judges said that the food at the Alma Inn was extremely fresh and of good quality.

The English Whisky Co

The English Whisky Co produces single malt, grain and small batch whiskies at its site in Roudham, Norfolk and also has an onsite bistro. The judges said that the menu contained a range of locally-sourced produce and felt that the dishes were unique.