Food judge impressed by his taste of Test Valley

PUBS and restaurants across the Test Valley are celebrating after being named some of the best places to eat out at in Hampshire.

Eateries in the Romsey and Stockbridge areas that clinched a 2014 Hampshire Hospitality Award were the Bear and Ragged Staff pub at Michelmersh, Chilworth Manor Hotel, Keats Restaurant and Restaurant 54, both at Ampfield, the Three Tuns pub and the White Horse Hotel and Brasserie, Romsey.

Each winner receives a certificate and window sticker.

Judge, Peter Birnie, went into pubs and restaurants unannounced to test the food and service.

Peter, who was chief inspector of AA-rated restaurants and hotel guides for six years, said: “In Test Valley the quality of restaurants and inns for all budgets remains as high as ever. It is also really great to see the increasing commitment to using local produce.”

Manageress of the Bear and Ragged Staff, Jo Clark, said she was “absolutely delighted” to receive the award for the second year on the trot.

“It’s brilliant to get the award again for our local produce. We are every so pleased to be recognised for what we do,” said Jo.

Sarah Bingham, from The White Horse, said: “We entered the awards as we are one of Hampshire’s leading hotels and are committed to raising awareness of the use of Hampshire produce and sustainability.”

Winners have also been congratulated by the borough’s cabinet spokesman for economics, Peter Giddings.

He said: “Test Valley has a wealth of fantastic places to eat and the Hampshire Hospitality Awards reflect that. They are a great way to raise the profile of local eateries and I’d like to congratulate all those recognised for their excellent food and service.

“Particularly well done to the Three Tuns, Romsey, which picked up the Local Produce Award and The White Horse Hotel and Brasserie also in Romsey, which received the Superior Quality Assured Award.”

Other winners in the Test Valley were the White Horse, at Thruxton, the Plough Inn, at Longparish, the George Inn, Vernham Dean and the Wyke Down pub, at Picket Piece, near Andover.

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