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Pub lands top seafood accolade

PUBLISHED: 13:07 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 July 2010

A NORTH Suffolk pub has beaten off strong competition to clinch a prestigious national seafood competition.

The Swan Inn at Barnby, near Beccles, has been announced the winner of the Seafood Pub of the Year Award at a ceremony held in London's Grosvenor Square.

A NORTH Suffolk pub has beaten off strong competition to clinch a prestigious national seafood competition.

The Swan Inn at Barnby, near Beccles, has been announced the winner of the Seafood Pub of the Year Award at a ceremony held in London's Grosvenor Square.

Donny Cole, who co owns the pub with his brother Michael, said he was “over the moon” to win the award and added that bringing home the title made it a double celebration for staff who are marking the specialist fish restaurant's 20th anniversary this year.

He said that 24 staff and friends from the pub went to the award ceremony last Thursday and added: “I was pleasantly surprised to win. This certainly puts us on the map and is great news. I am delighted for the staff as they really make the place.”

When the pub was shortlisted as a finalist in the competition earlier this year Mr Cole said the award was an accolade close to his heart because it is run by Seafish the industry's authority which promotes good quality, sustainable seafood.

“Having been in the fishing industry all my life and involved in the fishing business for over 60 years that's the one I want to win,” he said.

The pub has previously won the Seafish accolade and took the title of freehouse of the year in 1997.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Seafish chairman Charles Howeson said: “This has been the most successful Seafood Awards since their inception in 2005, with over 170 entries in the fourteen award categories - a testament to the innovation and determination to win that exists in this industry.”

Seafish said of the winner: “The Swan Inn and its Fishermans Cove restaurant have established an enviable reputation as leaders in the local area. Proprietors Donny and Michael Cole have been in the fish industry for over 50 years, with the family fish merchants business in Lowestoft now in the fourth generation.

“Their expertise is unequalled. The Fishermans Cove restaurant has a warm and friendly atmosphere. It is decorated with artefacts from local fishermen and fishing companies past and present. Great pride is taken in selecting and preparing only the finest ingredients to create imaginative and fine tasting meals.”

The Navy Inn in Penzance, Cornwall, was highly commended, and The Grapes in Limehouse, London and The Plockton Hotel in Plockton, Ross-shire, were both shortlisted in the Seafood Pub of the Year Award category.

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