A FRENCH restaurant in Thorpe Satchville was the toast of the first East Midlands Food and Drink Awards after scooping two trophies.
The Fox/La Table D’Ives won the titles of Best Gastro Pub or Bar Restaurant and Best European Restaurant at the glittering awards ceremony held at Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre on Sunday night.
The restaurant had already been named the Melton heat winner for Best Customer Care for Service/Front of House in the awards run by East Midlands Newspapers.
And there to present them with their awards was celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli for whom chef and co-owner Yves Ogrodzki had first worked in the UK after moving here from Provence.
Together with wife Elisabeth he has steadily built up The Fox’s reputation over the past six years and its mussels, lobster and theme nights - tonight it’s Beaujolais Nouveau - are now well-known.
They said: “It’s fantastic to win because it comes from our customers and their votes. We have never bothered about getting into AA or Michelin guides - this means so much more.
“When we started out the idea of a French family taking over an English inn seemed strange to people but with passion and hard work we have made it a success and helped put Thorpe Satchville on the map.
“We’re committed to using local produce as much as possible but just cook the ingredients the French way to give people an authentic taste of France and we’re very much a family business.”
The awards ran in 12 papers in the region from Melton to Peterborough and Stamford to Skegness and thousands of text and coupon votes were cast.
The other category winners on the night were:-
Best Chinese or Thai Restaurant - Oriental Palace, Boston
Best Indian Restaurant - Bombay Brasserie, Grantham
Best Fish and Chips - The Boundary, Market Deeping
Best Hotel Restaurant - Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham
Best Tea Room/Cafe - Greens Cafe, Werrington, near Peterborough
Best Customer Care for Service/Front of House - Elior Cafe, Skegness
Best Fast Food/Takeaway - Scrummies, Horncastle
Best Venue Award - Mama Liz, Stamford.