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Cumbrian restaurant named among the world’s gourmet hotspots

Nina Matsunaga head chef at the Black Bull Sedbergh. Credit Phil Rigby Photography

National Geographic Traveller (UK) have revealed the winners of the internationally acclaimed annual Big Sleep Awards in the magazine’s September edition.

The internationally acclaimed awards now in their third year celebrate the tastemakers and game-changers in the hotel world. During the judging process the magazine’s readers and a panel of top judges, selected the cream of the accommodation crop across 20 categories ranging from ultra-luxury suites and spas to value for-money boutique properties and gourmet bolt holes, to find the best of the best around the globe.

The Black Bull, Sedbergh, was narrowly pipped to the number one spot in the Gourmet Getaway category by Bless Hotel in Madrid headed up by Martin Berasategui, Spain’s most decorated chef (he’s accrued 10 Michelin Stars to date).

The magazine’s judging panel praised owners James and Nina for what they are delivering in Sedbergh, commenting: ‘’Hyper-local yet audaciously worldly: Manchester street food stalwarts Nina Matsunaga and James Ratcliffe bring Asian culinary flair to a chic 17th-century inn on the Cumbria-Yorkshire border.’’

Pat Riddell, editor of National Geographic Traveller, said: “Hotels can be a window into a world, a place to escape and relax, and a decadent, hedonistic treat, often all rolled into one. We’re celebrating the hotels that we and our readers think particularly stand out.

“Huge congratulations to all the winners and runners-up, it’s been a very tough process and we’re very excited to reward our favourite hotels and places to stay in what will be the first of many Big Sleep Awards.”

James Ratcliffe, hotelier and owner of The Black Bull, Sedbergh, commented: ‘’We are immensely proud that we have been listed alongside some seriously illustrious international company in the third National Geographic Traveller Big Sleep Awards.

“As a team we never rest on our laurels and strive to be the best we can possibly be, after all you never know where it might lead to. The team at The Black Bull are totally dedicated, they are people who love what they do day in and day out because they are passionate about the food they create and when you combine that with some of the best produce available anywhere you really can’t go far wrong!’’

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