TV chef presents prestigious Top 50 Gastropub Awards – as popular Hitchin venue makes it four shows in a row as hosts

Host Matt Tebbutt at the Top 50 Gastropub awards in Hermitage Road.

Host Matt Tebbutt at the Top 50 Gastropub awards in Hermitage Road. - Credit: Archant

A popular Hitchin restaurant has welcomed a celebrity television chef to host a prestigious awards ceremony.

Anglian Country Inns chairman Cliff Nye and managing director James Nye at the Top 50 Gastropub awar

Anglian Country Inns chairman Cliff Nye and managing director James Nye at the Top 50 Gastropub awards. - Credit: Archant

Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped presenter Matt Tebbutt, who also features on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, appeared at Hermitage Rd Bar and Restaurant to host this years Top 50 Gastropub awards today.

Taking over from last years’ presenter Tom Kerridge, Matt said: “It’s my first time here, but I’ve recently found out a lot of my family came from here including my great grandparents.

“This venue is perfect. When I arrived I thought it was going to be small – then I saw the staircase and upstairs – it’s like a Tardis!”

“I had a gastropub for 14 years and was on the top 50 list a few years ago. It’s great to hang out with other chefs, restaurateurs and pub owners, so when I was asked to host the awards it was a no-brainer for me.

Head chef at Water Lane bar and restaurant Adam O'Sullivan prepares his team on the main meal presen

Head chef at Water Lane bar and restaurant Adam O'Sullivan prepares his team on the main meal presentation in Hitchin. - Credit: Archant


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“Everybody works hard, so when you are recognised for your efforts it’s nice.”

Today’s event means the venue now has the distinction of hosting the hotly-contested awards for four consecutive years.

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James Nye, managing director of Anglian Country Inns which owns Hermitage Rd Bar and Restaurant, said: It’s a real honour to be here and have the cream of the crop of Britain’s pub chefs and pub owners in one place.

“It’s a tough industry, so it’s really nice to have a day like this where people in the trade get together and talk about food and experiences and share stories.”

“I look forward to it every year, it’s a pleasure to be hosting everyone and showing them what Hitchin has to offer.”

For a full rundown of the pubs on the list Google ‘Top 50 Gastropubs’.

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