Friday, 23 April 2021

Blaze-hit restaurant wins award for food

Blaze-hit restaurant wins award for food

A RESTAURANT and hotel in Goring which has almost finished rebuilding work following a damaging fire has won an award.

The Miller of Mansfield in High Street has been named foodie favourite in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs awards after owners Nick and Mary Galer put themselves forward in the autumn.

The business was shortlisted by the judges and then all the finalists were put to a public vote, so the couple urged customers to show their support on social media.

They heard nothing back so assumed they had been unsuccessful or the awards had been cancelled but then the organisers contacted them with the good news and to say the award would be sent to them in the post after a virtual ceremony on Friday.

The news comes as the Galers prepare to relaunch the restaurant after carrying out £42,000 of repairs following the blaze in October which could have burned the building down.

Staff quickly spotted the fire, which started in a tumble dryer in an outhouse behind the main building, and called 999. Firefighters said the blaze would have quickly spread had they not been there to tackle it.

Several smoke-damaged rooms have been refurbished. The cost of the work will be covered by insurance.

The restaurant should open for outdoor service on April 14, then fully re-open with social distancing after May 17, the earliest this is allowed.

Mrs Galer said: “It has been a turbulent year with a lot of unexpected stress, as it has been for many people, and after everything we’ve been through, it’s lovely to win this award.

“We kept it quiet until we could get all the staff together and celebrate with a glass of sparkling wine.

“It’s a great way to begin the process of getting back to normality and we’re very thankful to everyone who voted for us.

“Returning to work could be a shock to the system but we’ve shortened everyone’s hours initially to help them adjust and make sure they stay physically and mentally healthy. 

“I’m sure there’ll also be another toast to a successful re-opening before everything starts up.”

The Galers took over the business in 2014 when it was at risk of closure on environmental health grounds.

The couple have won numerous accolades, including independent hotel and restaurant of the year in the 2018 Thames Valley Awards.  Staff members Courtney Harris and Nadia Bozikova were individually honoured in the same awards the following year.

Earlier this year, the Miller  retained its listing in the latest Michelin Guide.

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