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Gourmet pub aims to net seafood award

PUBLISHED: 10:02 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 07:58 01 August 2010

AN award-winning pub near Beccles has beaten off strong competition to be shortlisted as a finalist in a national seafood competition.

Bringing the trophy home would mean a double celebration for staff at the Swan Inn in Barnby, who will also mark the specialist fish restaurant's 20th anniversary this year.

AN award-winning pub near Beccles has beaten off strong competition to be shortlisted as a finalist in a national seafood competition.

Bringing the trophy home would mean a double celebration for staff at the Swan Inn in Barnby, who will also mark the specialist fish restaurant's 20th anniversary this year.

Donny Cole, who co-owns the pub with his brother Michael, said the Seafood Pub of the Year 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. “It would also be great for us to win it as it's our 20th anniversary so it would be a tribute to all the staff.”

The extensive menu, which features locally caught sea bass, Cromer crabs, and lobster from north Norfolk, has already caught the eye of judges. Now staff are awaiting a visit from panellists who will sample dishes from the varied selection and assess how well the restaurant promotes sustainable seafood to its customers.

So what is the secret to the restaurant's success? Mr Cole said: “If people come here, they expect good fish and they get it.”

The pub, whose chef is Dawn Cartwright, won the Seafish accolade in 2004 and took the title of freehouse of the year in 1997.

Mr Cole will attend a ceremony at a London hotel in May, when the winner will be announced.

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