Sawbridgeworth restaurant The Orange Tree in Trip Advisor's top 10% in the world
Not many restaurants can boast of being in the top 10% in the world, but that is the accolade awarded to one Sawbridgeworth establishment.
Times have been tough for pubs and restaurants, but The Orange Tree in West Road, has benefited from a loyal customer base and quick-thinking managers diversifying to cope with the lockdown closure.
And last week co-owners Gareth Davies and Kate Gosnold received the news that they were a Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice 2020 winner, which puts them in the top 10% worldwide.
There is a certain irony to the award by the global travel platform which hosts reviews for everything from hotels to restaurants.
Back in February Trip Advisor dropped a bombshell on the Orange Tree by “sanctioning” the restaurant for having too many five star reviews.
Five months on and the restaurant is thriving and a new farm shop has been opened, an initiative brought in to provide residents with essentials during the coronavirus crisis.
The shop, which sells top grade meat, locally sourced fruit and veg, bread and jars of Sawbridgeworth honey, was originally sited in the redundant restaurant. But when the Government gave the green light for reopening Gareth and Kate acted quickly to resite it in a temporary building.
Chef patron Gareth said: “Having The Orange Tree in the top 10% of restaurants worldwide is a great honour and a true testament to our great team who work incredibly hard as well as our wonderful customers who are the driving force behind all we do.
“With only 40 covers, we aren’t the biggest restaurant, but we pride ourselves on giving our diners the best experience in terms of quality food and customer service.”
Sawbridgeworth Town Mayor Cllr Annelise Furnace paid tribute to the team: “The Orange Tree Farm Shop is a great example of innovative thinking by Sawbridgeworth businesses during lockdown and beyond.
“It is wonderful to see a temporary pop-up shop become a permanent enterprise. Also many congratulations to Kate, Gareth and all their team for the Trip Advisor award, which is a fantastic achievement.”