Five Bells Celebrates Birthday With Top 50 Accolade

Five Bells Celebrates Birthday With Top 50 Accolade

The owners of a much-loved 16th century East Devon pub, Five Bells, are celebrating their first two years of ownership with the news that they’ve been included amongst the country’s very best dining pubs.

Just five months after appointing new head chef Charlotte Vincent and exactly two years since taking over, James and Charlie Garnham have received confirmation that the Five Bells in Clyst Hydon has been included in the UK’s ‘Top 50 Gastropubs’ for 2020.

Inclusion in the prestigious list (organised by Estrella Damm) is voted for by industry experts and is reserved for those pubs offering the very best dining experience. Well known chefs including Tom Kerridge, Michael Wignall, Josh Eggleton and Tommy Banks all appear and a number of the entries already have Michelin stars to their name.

The news comes just a week after the pub won the ‘Best Customer Service’ accolade at the annual Western Morning News Business Awards. Last year it also won the award for ‘Best Sunday Lunch’ from Devon Life magazine and was a finalist in the UK’s Rural Business Awards.

The Grade II listed Inn near Cullompton was rescued from permanent closure in 2013 with current owners James and Charlie Garnham taking over in December 2017. Charlotte joined the team in July after a 20 year career in catering that included a decade as pastry chef at both Gidleigh Park and the Royal Clarence Hotel.

James Garnham commented:

“This is amazing news – the culmination of so much sustained hard work from the team. Having grown up in Clyst Hydon and then working around the country managing pubs and restaurants, my dream was always to one day return home and run the Five Bells. To be celebrating two years here and also to have appointed the pub’s first female head chef is something that Charlie and I are really proud of. It’s the effort though from the whole team that has got us into the UK’s Top 50 – what a birthday present!”

Charlotte Vincent added:

“I’m speechless! This really puts us amongst the best in the country. When I arrived there was already a good infrastructure in place, so I have been able to focus on taking things to the next level with our food and the thinking behind it. There’s a young team in the kitchen brimming with energy – something as big as this gets everyone pushing even harder. Roll on January!”

The award ceremony takes place at the Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve in Kent on 27th January where each pub will find out exactly where they have placed.

For more information on the pub please visit

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