Thai restaurant named among best in country for third year in a row
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
A Thai restaurant on the coast which says its locals have helped it through a trying year has won a national award.
Bann Thai, on Church Street in Cromer, has been given the Good Food Award gold seal for 2021, after receiving the Good Food Award in the restaurant category for three years in a row.
The restaurant is run by Kim and Belle Steggles, who say despite the challenges of 2020 they are feeling positive.
Mr Steggles said: “We have been very lucky up in north Norfolk. We have had a good summer, so we can’t complain. Of course turnover is down considerably from when we were locked down and doing takeaways and it will take a year to recover.
“But overall we are really pleased at how we have coped and how our customers have supported us.”
Despite a bumper summer on the coast, as travel restrictions made breaks in the UK more popular, Mr Steggles said day trippers and holidaymakers were not the main drivers of trade.
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“About 80pc or more of our customers are locals and regulars,” he said. “We have a lot of people who have holiday homes and caravans here who we count as regulars, as they come week in week out while they’re here.”
The restaurant has, along with the rest of the industry, closed for the second lockdown, but will still be offering takeaways five nights a week.
He said he believed their popularity was down to three factors - authentic food (Mrs Steggles moved to England from northern Thailand in 2001 and has cooked in many restaurants across Norfolk), good service and a relaxed ambience.
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“We are not fine dining but we are good quality,” he said. “Service is an important thing - we know if service is not good we won’t get the customers back.”
Meanwhile, 3 Norfolk Square Guest House, in Great Yarmouth, was given the Good Hotel Award for 2021.
Keith and Elsa Phillips took over the business in 2008 and transformed it into an adults-only, five-star guest house - the only one in the town.
Mr Phillips said it was that level of quality that had seen them prove popular.
Founded in 2002, the Good Food Awards divide places to eat and drink into categories including gastropubs and takeaways.
A spokesperson for the awards said they are “founded upon independence and integrity and every award issued is based on a strict policy scorecard”.
Businesses which put themselves forward are visited by judges to choose who is shortlisted, and customers can cast votes for their favourites.