Think Michelin quality food and your mind will probably head straight to some of the most famous cities on the planet: Paris, Rome, London. It’s a prestige that’s hard to earn and even harder to maintain.
And yet, a Tees Valley restaurant has done just that.
Chadwicks Inn in Maltby has just been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand for the sixth consecutive year. They are currently the only Michelin awarded restaurant in the Tees Valley, making the feat even more impressive. As well as this, Chadwicks Inn are also the proud recipients of two AA Rosettes.
Not heard of Chadwicks Inn? Helen Gill, one of the owners, describes it as “essentially a cosy country pub with an award-winning restaurant. You can call in for a pint in the bar by the log fire with your wellies on, or get your glad rags on and enjoy a delicious dinner with cocktails and a bottle of wine from our unique list”. It is this unique blend of cosy and quality that has caught the eyes of many happy customers and various awarding bodies.
The Michelin Bib Gourmand is awarded to restaurants who offer the highest quality food and dining experiences at affordable prices. Such restaurants are all about bringing good food to the people without breaking the bank. For many, the Michelin Bib Gourmand is a sure sign that you are about to be treated to a good meal. To be awarded it is certainly a mark of success. To be awarded it six years in a row? Phenomenal.
The pride of the team is palpable when I spoke to Helen, who described the news as “such a lift for the whole team” after a “very long and difficult year”. While celebrations may currently be on hold, Helen ensures me that there may have been a glass of fizz or two consumed.
What is particularly exciting about this news is that Chadwicks Inn have managed to do this in a time of great tumult and uncertainty in the restaurant industry. The savvy owners haven’t let the lockdowns and restrictions stop them but have instead adapted, offering both a Sunday Lunch takeaway menu and a ‘Chadwicks at Home’ service. This service allows customers to have a meal prepared by chefs, finish it at home themselves and enjoy the restaurant experience from their own homes.
When I spoke to Helen, she explained the new service as a means of creative problem solving. It was born out of a desire for “customers to be able to continue enjoying the Chadwicks experience even though they can’t visit, so we are offering a 3 course meal with wine, fully prepared to finish at home, as well as a traditional Sunday Lunch”. While Helen was keen to stress how desperate they are to open their doors properly when it is safe to do so, it is clear that this problem solving has been a success and will hopefully continue to be so.
In such difficult times, it is so refreshing to see a Tees Valley business getting some well deserved recognition for their innovation, quality and affordability. I can only hope that it won’t be long until I can try it for myself.