Michelin honours for ‘simple country inn’

A PUB described by its owner as a “simple country inn” has been cited as an inspector’s favourite in a forthcoming Michelin guide.

The Crown at Stoke-by-Nayland, near Sudbury, boasts 11 chefs and more than 50 staff.

It has now learned it is not only to feature in next year’s edition of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide, but it has also been named one of the inspectors’ favourites.

The Crown’s owner and operator, Richard Sunderland, said his pub was “a simple country inn that recognises all the good values that an inn should have: everyone is made to feel welcome, a simple passion for good service, food, wine and real ale”.

He added: “Naturally I am personally delighted but I am even more pleased for my team. They all work very hard and to be recognised in this way just gives everyone a great lift.

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“Getting the right mix of people within an operation is crucial to any successful business. It takes a great deal of time and effort but this proves it is worth it. Training, motivation and product of course are important but to start with the right team is number one.”

Derek Bulmer, editor of the Michelin guide, said: “Our guide shows that pubs are not dying, they are merely changing.

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“The traditional drinking pub has undoubtedly been suffering but those that are making efforts with their food are flourishing.

“Even some of the breweries have acknowledged this and have begun recruiting talented chefs. If there is one message it is ‘adapt and thrive’.

“We are also finding that these food-driven pubs are playing an even greater part in the local community.

“Chefs are rediscovering regional specialities and often deal directly with local farmers.

“We are pleased to see that most are also moving away from restaurant-style cooking and are now serving ‘proper’ pub food.”

The Crown was refurbished and re-opened in 2003 and an 11-bedroom hotel was added in 2008 at a cost of more than �1million.

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