“We just wanted to turn what was then a rather run-down local boozer into a welcoming pub, cook some great food, and create a solid and sustainable business for our future,” explains Kate.
But the couple’s pedigree – immediately prior to the move to South Dalton, he had been head chef, and she had run front of house, at the Michelin-starred Star at Harome – soon overwhelmed their refreshing lack of aspiration.
In the very first year, the Pipe and Glass’s relaxed ambience and fabulous food started to attract attention, at first locally, then rippling out to the regional, national and international arenas.
It took just four years for the pub to achieve what many consider the ultimate accolade – a Michelin star, which came out of the blue in 2010, and has stayed ever since.
Many more followed, including the coveted Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Dining Pub of the Year in 2012, and the Good Pub Guide’s National Dining Pub of the Year in 2015.
Particularly pleasing to the Mackenzies was being named as Best Pub and Bar Operators in the 2013 Cateys, organised by The Caterer magazine, and considered to be the industry’s
‘Oscars’; and consistent success over the last few years in the Morning Advertiser’s Top 50 Gastropub Awards – the Pipe and Glass has climbed steadily from fourth place in 2013 to second in 2016.
“The Caterer and The Morning Advertiser are the industry standard publications for restaurants and pubs,” says James. “So those awards are voted by a ‘jury of our peers’, and are particularly thrilling.”