A pub that reopened just a year ago as a specialist food operation has one the title of East Anglia regional dining pub of the year 2002 from the Les Routiers organisation.

The Walpole Arms, at Itteringham, near Aylsham, Norfolk, was bought last year by Richard Bryan, a former producer and director of Masterchef, the BBC television programme, and Keith Reeves.

Bryan said: " We were lucky to recruit an exceptionally fine head chef and within four months of opening we were named Eastern Daily Press Norfolk country pub of the year."

David Hancock, editor of the Les Routiers Pubs and Inns Guide 2003, said: "The relaxed and informal atmosphere in the bar combines well with the stylishly-decorated dining room for those desiring quieter, more formal dining."

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