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Nathan Outlaw and Andrew Swann among Trencherman’s Awards 2023 winners

Mark Hix of The Oyster and Fish House presents s Trencherman's Award to Nathan Outlaw.

The winners of the South West’s most prestigious dining awards were announced at a gourmet ceremony at Salcombe Harbour Hotel on March 6

Nathan Outlaw was among those presented with awards by broadcaster and food critic William Sitwell and Dorset’s TV chef and restaurateur Mark Hix of The Oyster and Fish House. Joined by Trencherman’s Guide editorial director Jo Rees to present the Trencherman’s Awards 2023 – the most prestigious dining accolades in the South West, the event was attended by the region’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers, among other influential foodies.

Over 30,000 individual reader votes were cast in the second round of voting, with some of the closest final scores seen in the Awards’ ten-year history. Nathan Outlaw of Outlaw’s in Port Isaac, Ugly Butterfly by Adam Handling in Carbis Bay, and Boringdon Hall near Plymouth were honoured among the winners (full list below).

The finale of the evening saw Nathan Outlaw win the Award for Special Contribution. Nathan said: ‘I’ve been in the South West for well over 25 years and the Trencherman’s Guide has always been at the forefront of the scene. It’s one of the guides you want to get into as a chef – and it’s also a guide that a lot of customers follow and then come to your restaurant as a result. To receive this award is incredible and a great honour.

In traditional Trencherman’s style, a number of last year’s award winners made up the team of top chefs who crafted the ceremony’s four-course feast: Mark Dodson of The Masons Arms (starter), Michael Smith of Porthminster Beach Cafe (fish), host chef Jamie Gulliford of Salcombe Harbour Hotel (main) and Dorian Janmaat of The Idle Rocks (dessert).

The quality cooking was paired with fine wines from Hallgarten and Novum, Cornish beers from Sharp’s Brewery and soft drinks from Frobishers. Canapés were served with local spirits Trevethan Cornish Gin, Atlantic Spirit No.7 Sea Buckthorn Gin, and Sea Arch Coastal Juniper.

William Sitwell and Mark Hix with Best Restaurant winners Prawn on the Lawn
Hosts William and Mark with Best Restaurant winners Prawn on the Lawn

Trencherman’s Awards 2023 winners and grand finalists

Award for Special Contribution (sponsored by PKF Francis Clark)

Winner: Nathan Outlaw – Outlaw’s
Grand finalists: Paul Ainsworth – Paul Ainsworth at No 6; Kit Chapman – The Castle at Taunton; Geetie Singh-Watson – The Bull Inn

Best Trencherman’s Chef (sponsored by Hallgarten & Novum Wines)

Winner: Andrew Swann – The Castle at Taunton
Grand finalists: Harriet Mansell – Robin Wylde; James Harris – The Beckford Bottle Shop; Joshua Jones – Number Eight

Best Trencherman’s Restaurant (sponsored by Dole)

WinnerPrawn on the Lawn, Padstow
Grand finalists: Robin Wylde, Lyme Regis; Ronnie’s of Thornbury, near Bristol; The Angel – Taste of Devon, Dartmouth

Best Trencherman’s Hotel (sponsored by The Eco Laundry)

WinnerBoringdon Hall Hotel, Plymouth
Grand finalists: Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton; Talland Bay Hotel, Porthallow; The Castle at Taunton

Best Trencherman’s Pub

WinnerThe Castle Inn, Castle Combe
Grand finalists: The Barrington Boar, Ilminster; The Cotley Inn, Wambrook; The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George;

Award for Creativity & Innovation (sponsored by Sharp’s Brewery)

WinnerUgly Butterfly by Adam Handling, Carbis Bay
Grand finalists: Appleton’s Bar and Restaurant, Fowey; Brassica Restaurant, Beaminster; The Angel – Taste of Devon, Dartmouth

Best Front of House Team

WinnerCrab House Cafe, Wyke Regis
Grand finalists: Hooked on the Rocks, Falmouth; Millside, Lyme Regis; The Dartmoor Inn, Lydford

Best Newcomer (sponsored by Salt Media)

WinnerAndria, Dartmouth
Grand finalists: New Coast Kitchen, Croyde; The Rocket Store, Boscastle; Thornbury Castle, near Bristol

Best Bar List

Winner: The Farmers Arms, Woolsery
Grand finalists: New Coast Kitchen, Croyde; Robun, Bath; The Idle Rocks, St Mawes

Trencherman’s Guide reveals the best restaurants in the South West, from Cornwall to the Cotswolds. Restaurants are invited to be in the guide upon meeting strict and exacting quality criteria. The latest edition of the guide can be purchased here.

Images by Guy Harrop.

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