A Wymondham pub´s menu has won chef Nick McGeown a top accolade

Melton Times front page, October 11, 2001
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The Berkeley Arms in Wymondham is the ONLY eatery in Leicestershire to make it into the Good Food Guide 2002.

A handful of county pubs and restaurants were said by the diners´ bible to be worth a look but only the Berkeley Arms made it to the main section.

Chef and landlord Nick McGeown has been running the pub with his wife Cathy for about 18 months.

Nick said: ``When I took the place on I was fairly confident I could do it. Getting in the guide is a bonus and will hopefully take us further.´´

The guide says about the pub and restaurant: ``Its pine furniture, beams and exposed stone are simple yet tasteful, and beyond the global influences and voguish presentation lies some talent, ambition and realistically priced food.´´

Nick describes the food as English with a Mediterranean twist and the menu changes every month as he experiments with new recipes and flavours.

His main inspiration other than Raymond Blanc is Nico Ladenis, who owns the famous Nico´s restaurant on Park Lane in London.

Nick added: ``I like his cooking. He concentrates on flavour and ingredients which go together well and it doesn´t have to look like an oil painting.´´

A contributing element to the pub´s success, says Nick, has to be the service.

He added: ``Cathy does all out front. People seem to be at ease.

``There´s no rush for the tables, once a customer has sat down they´re there for as long as they want.´´

Nick has had a keen interest in food since leaving school and attended catering college and later worked alongside Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat´Saisons, in Oxford for four years.

He then worked for De Vere Hotels as head chef in two of its new restaurants in Milton Keynes and Cheshire.

Two years on and he decided to go it alone and was immediately drawn to the Berkeley Arms.

The guide, published by Which, is available from Melton Bookshop or WH Smith at £15.99.

Small photo of Nick McGeown (newspaper scan, 9.7kB)

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