'Our dreams have become a reality' - Seafood restaurant named best in region
Despite only being open for three years, the Wells Crab House has been making waves across Norfolk and has now been named the best restaurant in the entire eastern region.
Wells Crab House, located in idyllic Wells-next-the-Sea, scooped the prize at The Food Awards England 2019 finals at the Mercure hotel in Manchester on Monday night and beat the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House in Cambridge.
They were the only finalist from Norfolk at the awards ceremony and they were up against Rico Libre in Woburn, The Froize in Woodbridge, Haywards in Epping, Habis Cafe and Restaurant in Littleport and Trinity Restaurant in Cambridge.
The restaurant is owned by couple Kelly and Scott Dougal and they previously won the best restaurant and outstanding from of house categories at the Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2018.
The couple found out three weeks ago that they had been nominated by the public for the award, which they almost missed as it went into their spam folder, and then through a public vote on The Food Awards England Facebook page were shortlisted as one of the seven finalists.
They then had to send information to the judging panel about the restaurant, which included any awards they had already won and any charity work they did.
Mrs Dougal said: "It was incredible to be named in the top seven as it is a public vote and is what people truly believe.
"We didn't have a speech prepared as we didn't expect to win as there was Midsummer House in Cambridge there who are Michellin-starred.
"We were just to happy to be a finalist and we were proud to represent Norfolk."
Each month, the pair change the menu to keep things fresh, with options such as crab and lobster platters, and they locally source all their seafood.
Mrs Dougal added: "It has always been our dream to open our restaurant and it has become a reality.
"It is really rewarding to know all our hard work is appreciated and we are thankful to those that dine with us and our great team."