The Duck Inn at Stanhoe celebrates East of England title and inclusion in UK’s gastropub awards

The team at the Duck Inn, Stanhoe ANL-170901-114420001

The team at the Duck Inn, Stanhoe ANL-170901-114420001

The Duck Inn at Stanhoe is celebrating a double helping of good news.

Not only has it been awarded the title of 2017 Restaurant of the Year for the East of England by The Good Food Guide, but it has also been named as “One to Watch” in the Morning Advertiser Top 50 Gastropubs.

Ben Handley, chef and owner of the Duck Inn, Stanhoe. ANL-170901-115151001

Ben Handley, chef and owner of the Duck Inn, Stanhoe. ANL-170901-115151001

Chef Ben Handley, who owns the business with his wife, Sarah, said they were “over the moon” with the Good Food Guide accolade and added: “The list of entrants in the Top 50 Gastropubs is testament to the quality of eateries up and down the country and we are all thrilled to be recognised with such esteemed company.”

And Sarah said: “Wow, what an unexpected surprise, a fantastic way to start 2017. This recognition is a perfect tribute to our amazing customers and our incredible team.”

The Morning Advertiser is recognised as the foremost publication for the hospitality trade since its inception in 1794. The current holder of the number one position in the gastropub awards is the world famous Sportsman, near Whitstable, in Kent (2015-2016), and the previous occupier of the top spot was Tom Kerridge’s iconic Hand and Flowers (2012-2014).

The awards ceremony is being held on Monday, January 30, at Hermitage Road Bar and Restaurant in Hitchin.

Ben and Sarah have developed the Duck Inn, an 18th century building, into a top dining destination with help from an enthusiastic young team and a menu which focuses on locally-sourced seasonal produce.

For example, it uses Brancaster crabs and mussels and beef from the Holkham Estate.

General manager Sam Handley said: “This recognition reminds us all just how special The Duck is and is further motivation to take the business forward over the coming months and years.”

Further feathers to The Duck Inn’s cap include being in Conde Nast’s Top 5 Norfolk Food Hotspots, a finalist in The Observer Food Monthly Awards 2016 and listed and praised for its cuisine in the 2017 Michelin Guide.