Young chef team at country pub awarded AA Rosette

Saracens Head, Wolterton, near Erpingham, Norfolk NR11 7LZ Phone 01263 768909. Contact Tim Elwes

The Saracens Head in Wolterton has won an AA Rosette for culinary excellence - Credit: Danny Elwes

A north Norfolk restaurant has been put on the map for its "culinary excellence" despite the kitchen team only taking over the reins six months ago.

Saracen's Head, in Wall Road, Wolterton, was awarded an AA Rosette on Thursday, March 31 and it is hoped this is the first of many for the young team of chefs.

The rural Georgian inn surrounded by countryside has also been given a four-star rating for its accommodation by the AA Hospitality Awards.

Saracens Head in Wolterton wins AA Rosette for culinary excellence

Grilled fresh mackerel with saffron emulsion and polenta - Credit: Saracens Head

Tim Elwes, owner of Saracens Head, said: "It's fantastic news. The guys in the kitchen have worked so hard and have been determined to get an award.

"To do so in only six months is great and I'm sure there will be more to come as well."

Saracens Head wins AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence

Beef featherblade, (braised and seared) slow cooked carrot, baked onion with Norfolk dapple cheese, carrot purée, confit potato and seasonal greens. - Credit: Saracens Head

Self-taught head chef Sam Rush joined the Saracens Head seven years ago and has since worked his way through the ranks before making the jump from sous-chef to the top position in September, when the former head chef left for semi-retirement.

Mr Rush, who is in his early 30s, is joined in the kitchen by pastry chef Millie Rivett, 19 and Jake Sayers, 26, a former apprentice who is now fully employed at the restaurant.

Saracens Head wins AA Rosette for culinary excellence

An example of the revolving menu at Saracens Head. - Credit: Saracens Head

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Mr Elwes added: "Sam is learning and pushing all the time so once this position became available it was an easy choice to make.

"The team are full of ideas and pride themselves on the use of good quality, local seasonal produce which we try to source as close to home as possible.

"Our lamb is sourced from only 100 metres away from the pub and we make use of the whole animal which will be used on the menu in different ways throughout the week."

Example of dessert dish at Saracens Head, north Norfolk

Dark chocolate and whisky ganache. milk chocolate brandy snap, salted caramel ice cream - Credit: Amelia Rivett

Mr Elwes, 60, has been running the Saracens Head alongside his wife Janie for twelve years, having moved here from France where they had worked in hospitality for over a decade.

"We've become a favourite spot for locals who know us and rely on us for a good meal but we also have lots of visitors," Mr Elwes added. "When people walk in the front door its more like walking into someone’s home, we want people to feel relaxed."

Example of desserts at Saracens Head, north Norfolk

White chocolate cremeux, poached rhubarb, pistachio sponge, blood orange jelly - Credit: Amelia Rivett