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Will Brown

Old Schoolhouse Inn wins prestigious award and announces new fine dining restaurant

25 June 2014

The Old Schoolhouse Inn in Comber, County Down, has won the prestigious 'Grub Club Restaurant of The Year 2013/14 Award', confirming its position as one of the best restaurants in Ireland.

Established over 30 years ago, the Grub Club is an exclusive private dining club, which scours the whole of Northern Ireland to find the very best restaurants that the region has to offer.  With strict criteria to select its winner based on the excellent calibre, integrity and innovation of its entire food, beverage and service offering, the Grub Club celebrates culinary excellence at its best. Past winners have included Deane’s, Shanks and Roscoff.

The award win comes at an exciting time for the Old Schoolhouse Inn as this week chef Will Brown confirmed plans for a new ‘fine dining’ restaurant on site, which is set to open in the Spring.

The 30-seater restaurant, which will be known as Will Brown at The Schoolhouse, will introduce a whole new food offering, with a stunning menu of new dishes, fine wines and cheeses served at the high standard that the restaurant is currently well known for.

The existing restaurant will become The Schoolhouse Bistro and will continue to serve local classic dishes as well as the popular five-course tasting menu. Plans also include a new kitchen and a polytunnel where the majority of fresh ingredients will be grown.

The new fine dining restaurant will show what The Schoolhouse is really capable of in terms of technicality and flair, which should appeal to both current and new customers alike.

At The Schoolhouse Bistro there will be an even wider range of great dishes but at local prices.  These will range from burgers and salads through to favourites like Strangford Lough mussels and beef bourguignon, not forgetting the signature dish - a lobster hotdog!

Will Brown took over The Old Schoolhouse Inn in 2012 and in that time has succeeded in firmly placing it on the culinary map having received several accolades to date; the restaurant has been named as one of the top 100 restaurant in Ireland, Will has been named one of the top 10 chefs in Ireland and he has also been tabbed as one to watch by culinary guide, Bridgestone.  Will’s success has also extended to television thanks to him taking in part in Great British Menu 2013 where he reached the final heat in London and was nominated as one of Northern Ireland’s top three chefs.

The Old Schoolhouse Inn is Will Brown’s first restaurant, bringing together 10 years of experience in London and Ireland.  He started his cooking career at the tender age of 17 when he joined the team at Marco Pierre White’s Mirabelle, since then he has trained at a myriad of Michelin starred restaurants within the UK and Ireland including The Square, Mayfair, Gordon Ramsey's Maze, The Glasshouse for Bruce Poole and Roscoff for Paul Rankin.  Head Chef, Will Brown uses the best of Ulster’s produce to create simple yet accomplished dishes which reflect their Irish heritage.

For more information see

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The Old Schoolhouse Inn Restaurant, Comber, Newtownards

The Old Schoolhouse Inn situated beside the beautiful scenery of Strangford Lough,is widely regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s leading restaurants. Will Brown uses the best of Ulster's produce to create simple yet accomplished dishes.

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