Winteringham Fields is a world-renowned restaurant, situated in the idyllic village of Winteringham, North Lincolnshire. The stunning site even boasts its own helipad, which has led to it being frequented by many famous names. Winteringham Fields first opened in 1988 and quickly gained critical acclaim. It’s now one of the best restaurants outside of London and has held two coveted Michelin stars. Since opening, the restaurant has only had 2 proprietors, the second being Colin McGurran and his wife Bex, who moved to Winteringham 10 years ago. After visiting, Colin fell in love with the restaurant; he loved the scenic rural-ness of the place and the genuine warmth and friendliness of the local residents.
Colin McGurran is a celebrity in his own right after making the final of BBC2’s Great British Menu not just once but three times, as well as cooking live on TV’s Red Nose Day and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen for Hollywood star Antonio Banderas. He is also a food journalist and now author after just releasing his first book ‘A Table at the Fields’, which paints a perfect picture of the culture and philosophy they practice at Winteringham Fields. The book celebrates Colin’s decade anniversary at Winteringham Fields, featuring many recipes that have been 10 years in the making – making this incredible book particularly special.
Winteringham Fields pride themselves of innovative cookery paired with fine wines from around the globe; here you can expect to receive a world class gastronomic experience, including seven and nine course taster menus, in a bespoke restaurant environment. The space is the perfect place to host a discreet business meeting, special family occasion, or indulge in a truly romantic dining experience. With high quality food, an incredible atmosphere and excellent attention to detail, it’s no surprise that Winteringham Fields is consistently award winning. Winteringham Fields is the only 5* establishment in the county, no.27 in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants 2015 (a highly regarded restaurant list) and has received many more local awards, including Best Restaurant of 2015 in the Lincolnshire Journal.
Recently, the McGurran’s have invested £1m into Winteringham Fields and now have a new restaurant for larger private dinners, a bespoke kitchen, 4 new rooms within the grounds all completed as part of a well-executed refurbishment programme that has sharpened their luxury look further. This investment has paid off with 40% of Winteringham Field’s income coming from corporate clients with these bookings increasing daily. This is a family run business with Colin’s wife, Bex, looking after the housekeeping, financial and operational arms of the business. The McGurran’s have a clear vision of where they see the business progressing over the coming years.
During the financial crisis in the late 2000s, many high-end restaurants struggled to survive but Colin McGurran’s business philosophy has always been to keep it simple and he embraced a “farm to fork” concept, which helped the business to prosper. Winteringham Fields now has its own salad and vegetable gardens on site and rears its own animals and poultry. This expansion of the business has proved more economical, with goods that are tastier, fresher and more nutritious. Chef Patron, Colin McGurran said; “the produce on our doorstep is truly fantastic, we grow everything on site; garlic, shallots, leeks, you name it we grow it and if we can’t we always use local suppliers. Lincolnshire is synonymous with deliciously home grown vegetables and agriculture.”
Customer experience is also paramount throughout Winteringham Fields’ philosophy and culture, and all members of the team are involved in every aspect of the business, whether it is assisting with a refurbishment project, inputting into the daily menu or tending to the small holdings and gardens. Colin McGurran said; “customer service is high on our agenda and essential to our success, our staff are trained 3 times a week and as a team we are very proud of the high standards of our hospitality. We keep it simple and organic; guests are welcomed and treated just as they would if they were friends coming round to your home for dinner. Once you’re a friend of Winteringham Fields, you’re a friend for life.” And, it’s not just the customers of Winteringham Fields that are ‘friends for life’ but the team of employees also. Winteringham Fields houses nearly all their employees either on-site, or in local village accommodation. This is employee welfare at its best, which helps to build a strong community team spirit and is crucial to attracting and helping European employees settle in quickly. Having a loyal workforce on their doorstep and around the clock will no doubt enhance the operational running of a top-notch hotel and restaurant like Winteringham Fields but it genuinely feels that it’s not about that, it’s about putting employees first. Employee benefits don’t just stop here; Winteringham Fields is closed over the Christmas and New Year periods, bank holidays and for a few weeks in summer allowing employees to have holidays themselves – almost unheard of within the hospitality sector. It’s clear that the McGurran’s feel the wellbeing of their team is paramount to their business philosophy and vision of growth.
It is less than 12 months since the McGauran’s opened the doors at the Hope & Anchor; a rustic pub overlooking the Humber estuary, just up the road from Winteringham in an area that only 2 years ago was devastated by floods but is now the communal hub for locals to meet in. When the Hope & Anchor first opened in March 2015, it was turning around 1,000 covers the first week and 1,500 by the second and within the space of 6 weeks the staffing numbers increased from 12 to 40. Why so much success, and so quickly? Chef Patron, Colin McGurran said; “there is such a demand for really good food, we’ve become a nation of foodies, fuelled even further by cookery shows, books, magazines and farmer’s markets, people are aware of what good food is and the value. At the Hope & Anchor we offer a different dining experience to Winteringham Fields; we welcome wellies, flat caps and dogs in a casual and informal setting, with quality British hearty favourites such as roast pork tenderloins, roast sirloin of Lincoln beef and bowls of mussels which have just arrived from Grimsby Docks.”
With a jam-packed schedule what would you see Colin McGurran doing on one of his very rare days off? Colin McGurran said; “experimenting with new flavours and recipes; I like to be creative and deliver a unique experience for our diners, my signature dish Tomato Gazpacho is one of my favourites and has taken two years to perfect, it’s very special to me. Also, spending quality time with Bex and the girls in our garden, with a good hearty Shepherd’s Pie and a cup of tea”.
Watch this space – it’s apparent that both Winteringham Fields and the Hope & Anchor will continue to grow and gain more prestigious accolades, in fact both restaurants have just been included in the 2016 Michelin Guide.
‘A Table at The Fields’ is priced at £25 and can be ordered from www.winteringhamfields.co.uk