Norwich restaurant regains four-star hygiene rating

The Last wine bar and restaurant.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Last wine bar and restaurant.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A city restaurant which claimed its poor hygiene mark was due to incomplete paperwork rather than anything more serious has seen its rating improve following a re-inspection.

The Last Wine Bar and Restaurant on St George's Street was given a one-star rating in July due to the fact it was unable to produce relevant paperwork during an inspection because of an office move.

The council's inspector also recorded a number of contraventions in the restaurant's kitchen, including a chef wiping a knife on a dirty tea towel - though these were described as 'minor'.

At the time of the one-star rating James Sawrey-Cookson, partner in The Last Wine Bar, said: 'We have to take this report on the chin and we are seeking the earliest possible re-inspection, at which we are confident our former high rating will be restored.'

Now following a re-inspection by Norwich City Council hygiene officers, as Mr Sawrey-Cookson predicted, the restaurant has had its previously held four-star rating reinstated.

'The nature of the inspection system meant that the inspector had to give us the low rating in July despite stating explicitly in her report that our food hygiene standards were high,' said Mr Sawrey-Cookson more recently.

'It was our record-keeping which was at issue, due principally to the timing of the inspection being at the exact moment we were moving offices.

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'We said at the time that we felt the one-star rating was harsh and that we would seek an early re-inspection, and we are pleased but not surprised that we have re-gained our high rating.'

A similar situation occurred recently at Middletons Steakhouse and Grill on Timberhill, which lost its lost its five-star rating of six years when it was given just one after an inspection.

Managing director Stephen Hutton said it was down to a broken fridge on the day and after they requested a revisit they restored their five-star rating at the start of September.

At the time Middletons' managing director Stephen Hutton said: 'If you go to a one star, the assumption is that you have got a rat infestation, mouse droppings or food going off.

'I don't think people know most of the time that it's inspectors checking you are following processes.'