Bury St Edmunds’ Pea Porridge restaurant has retained its coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand award for the seventh year running.
It is one of only 143 in the UK to be granted the world’s oldest restaurant guide’s accolade for establishments offering good food at reasonable prices. Only one other restaurant in Suffolk – Lighthouse at Aldeburgh – holds the award.
The Cannon Street restaurant owned by Justin and Jurga Sharp was granted its first Bib Gourmand after only four months of trading.
Justin said: “It’s nice to be recognised by the main guides and this is ‘the Bible’ pretty much.
“It’s nice to be recognised for what we do – flavoursome, hearty, robust cooking with good ingredients.”
Bib Gourmand is named after the Michelin Man, who is properly known as Bibendum, and was introduced in the 1950s to recognise restaurants serving good food at modest prices. They must have a menu priced below a certain level set for the economic state of the country they are in – for the UK it is £28.
Justin said: “It’s quite difficult as time progresses, with rising food costs.
“The number of suppliers who have used Brexit as an excuse to put prices up is alarming.
“Most of the produce we buy is British and the majority of it is local. Just beef prices have gone through the roof – something to do with the feed prices they say.
“It’s more difficult year on year but we want to retain what we’re about and we try not to put our prices beyond reach. We want it to be an everyday meal experience rather than for a special occasion.
With that in mind, they plan work with a walled garden project in Rushbrooke next year to grow as much of their own vegetables as they can.