Accolades recognise top quality pubs in the area

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PUBS across the area have been awarded for their quality food, drink and accommodation.

Top of the crop this year are The Olive Branch and Beech House in Clipsham and the Tobie Norris in Stamford.

The Olive Branch and Beech House has been given a César award by the Good Hotel Guide.

The award is the highest accolade a hotel can get and The Olive Branch was named Restaurant-with-Rooms of the Year in the 2012 edition of the Guide, which was published on Monday.

The Good Hotel Guide nominates 10 hotels every year for the award, named after hotelier César Ritz.

Manager and partner Ben Jones said: “Both Sean [Hope] and I spent our formative years, training and working in top luxury hotels such as Hambleton Hall and Gravetye Manor, both of which have received César awards in the past.

“It is a great honour to be considered in the same light as these great establishments and to receive such a prestigious accolade.”

The Tobie Norris in St Paul’s Street, Stamford, was given a national award in the Good Pub Guide which was also published this week.

The pub was given the Best Newcomer award in the guide that is a companion to food and beer lovers all over the country.

Joint editor Fiona Stapley said the pub is “a captivating refurbishment of a medieval building, with good food and drink and a great atmosphere”.

Also honoured in the Good Pub Guide was The Marquess of Exeter in Lyddington, which was given the County Dining award for Leicestershire and Rutland.

Deputy manager Jason Husband said: “It is fantastic. We had no idea we had been even put forward for the award.

“I hope that when people visit the area they will seek us out.”

The Olive Branch was named in the guide’s Top 11 Inns and The Grainstore Brewery in Station Approach, Oakham, was named in the top 10 own brew pubs and the top 10 beer pub lists.