The Salty Monk Bagged Bronze in Prestigious ‘Visit England Awards 2013’

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Bronze Award taken by South West business The Salty Monk Restaurant with Rooms in national Visit England awards

Over a quarter of this year’s national Visit England awards went to tourism businesses from England’s South West at  last week’s glittering ceremony in Manchester.  This made it  a record year for the region and reinforcing the South West’s status as ‘England’s pre-eminent tourism destination’.

Sidford in Devon has the some of the best guest accommodation in the country, according to Visit England.

“If you want to see some of the best that England has to offer then stay a night or two at the Salty Monk”.

This was the judgement of England’s Tourist Board when it announced the five finalists of its award for excellence. Despite being ‘pipped to the post’ for the ultimate accolade last Monday, the Salty Monk bagged Bronze which is not to be sniffed at!

For the team at the Salty Monk, being a finalist this year is particularly poignant. Obliterated by the floods of last November, they worked tirelessly to upkeep standards and stay open. This same determination took a derelict hulk 13 years ago and built lasting alliances with local producers, gaining 5 gold stars for the last ten years and AA rosettes for the last nine.

Chef -Owner Andy Witheridge said of being a finalist:

‘I’m thrilled. This kind of recognition is great recognition for the team, most of whom have been with us almost from the outset. But in these difficult times we have learned not to be complacent. Our relatively small size, only six rooms, allows us to create an ever improving and truly individual experience for our guests.’

This is no idle boast; determined not to stand still, the Salty Monk’s programme of continuous reinvestment has recently seen the addition of a spa and fitness room and the continual enhancement of six truly individual and luxurious rooms.

But the Salty Monk is a restaurant with rooms. Its silver award for green tourism is as a result of the quality of the food and its commitment to small local suppliers and Green Practices. Imaginative twists on traditional cooking has gained a loyal following for its restaurant and new Abbots Den Brasserie.

Andy continued:

‘We are truly privileged to be surrounded by some of the best and most talented producers in the country. And I don’t just mean food – Our local schools and colleges are turning out some fantastic new talent for the next generation of caterers.’

Andy can speak with conviction as much of his time these days is spent supporting local educational establishments such as Kings School, Sidmouth College and Exeter College. In November the kitchens and restaurant of the Salty Monk were turned over to local pupils preparing  and serving professional quality meals to local celebrities.

This is recognition with a great popular appeal. Today it will not only be the staff of the Salty Monk who will be celebrating, but pupils, produce suppliers and loyal customers throughout Devon and the West Country.

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