Broads restaurant is highest scoring in England

A Broads restaurant has scored a perfect 100% in a national assessment scheme –the only one in the country to have achieved full marks.

Scoring 99% last year in Visit England’s Taste accreditation scheme was not good enough for Richard Hughes, chef and proprietor of The Lavender House at Brundall.

Determined to go one better, Richard has now hit the jackpot and become the first restaurateur to achieve a faultless score.

It is particularly fitting news as the Taste scheme was started by the Broads Authority 14 years ago and the idea was later adopted by Visit England (VE). It is now run nationally as part of VE’s quality assurance suite

Annette Burgess, Area Manager for Quality in Tourism on behalf of Visit England, said: “We have worked with the Broads Authority for many years now and we’ve seen a steady improvement in quality standards. But we have never been able to award a score of 100% to any restaurant ever before, anywhere in the country. So it’s exceptionally rare to the point of being unique and it’s a great achievement!”

Taste, which is still branded the Broads Quality Charter locally, looks at all aspects of the dining experience. But it wasn’t the food, service, warmth of welcome and attention to detail that prevented The Lavender House achieving the final 1% last year – the only let down in the assessment was the car park surface!

Richard promptly ordered new tarmac for the car park the day after receiving the report and is now thrilled to have achieved his ambition.

 “The Lavender House team and I are now absolutely delighted to have been given a perfect score from Quality in Tourism which we hope reflects the huge amount of work that goes into providing an exceptional dining experience for our customers,” he said.

"We believe that really great service is just as important as serving really fantastic food and our front of house team offers just that. With a new team in the kitchen, including head chef Tim Abbott and pastry chef Jamie Gooda, we never stop working to improve what we offer.”

Bruce Hanson, the Broads Authority’s Tourism Officer, said: “This is another national first for the Broads and our involvement in the Taste scheme. It’s a fantastic accolade to have the highest-scoring restaurant ever in ‘Taste’ nationally – right here in the heart of Britain’s magical waterland. Richard famously told a meeting of Broads Tourism some months ago that he was ‘chasing the one percent’ and now he has most emphatically caught up with it.”

The assessor’s report summed up the Lavender House as “a charming restaurant with heaps of character and a great ambience. All dishes were expertly cooked and the menu showcased some of the best produce Norfolk has to offer. A perfect 100% score. Well done to the whole team at Lavender House!”

Friday 11 July 2014