The Baskerville was awarded top accolade of 2016 Oxfordshire Restaurant of the Year at a dazzling ceremony organised by The In Oxford Group, publishers of Living in Oxford Magazine and sponsored by Hedges Law.
The Baskerville received the prestigious award in front of over 250 guests, including the county’s top chefs and restaurateurs. The judging panel, chaired by Alain Desenclos, Maître d’ of Le Manoir Quat’Saisons for 26 years, was impressed by the owners’ pride in the food they create at The Baskerville, which was also winner of the best Gastro Pub/Brasserie category. .
Kevin Hannah, owner of The Baskerville, said: “I nearly fell off my seat when it was announced that we had won. I thought we might be in with a chance to win our category, but not to win the top award.
“It’s down to 13 years of hard work with my Dad and all of us as a family, my incredible staff, every single person who has worked with us…… and a lot of hours.”
Orwells at Binfield Heath also celebrated success as Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman jointly won chef of the year.
Organiser, Richard Rosser, Chief Executive of the In Oxford Group said: “Well over 250 people work tirelessly behind the scenes to make these awards such a success. The smiles all around make it such a wonderful occasion and the hard work and hours we all put in are certainly worth it.”
The Living in Oxford team awarded Acanthus Restaurant, at the iconic Macdonald Randolph Hotel, the prize for their top restaurant. The Randolph’s William Thomson, recent winner of the Young Concierge of the Year, presented the auction in aid of Helen & Douglas House alongside the charity’s Head of Partnerships, Hugh Thompson.
This was the first year an award was given for the Most Sustainable Restaurant, won by the Vaults and Garden Café in Radcliffe Square. Hannah Fenton, Manager of Good Food Oxford, sponsor and judging this award said: “This award celebrates the restaurant that puts sustainability at the heart of its business – with a farmer-first approach to sourcing, delicious vegetarian options, excellent efforts on food waste reduction and great communication with customers.”
The Garden Café at Restore won an award for distinction for extraordinary achievement. If you haven’t visited this oasis just off the Cowley Road yet, you should make the trip.
Another new and hotly contested category was for the best college dining room, won by St Antony’s College. The much acclaimed Restaurant 56 at Sudbury House, Faringdon won the best gastronomic restaurant for the second year running and last year’s Restaurant of the Year, The White Hart at Fyfield, won the Public Vote. .
Richard Haddon and Michael Verkoren, owners of the Swan Inn at Ascott-under-Wychwood were delighted with their win for the best traditional pub restaurant in Oxfordshire. Richard said: “Everybody at The Swan, Ascott under Wychwood, is absolutely delighted to have won ‘Best Traditional Pub’ – especially with such strong and superb competition from the other finalists.”