BARRISTERS Bar and Restaurant at The Courthouse in Knutsford has been crowned Newcomer of the Year at the Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards 2018.

The restaurant, which opened last year in the former home of Knutsford Crown Court, fought off competition from Fisk in Prestbury and The Tapas Kitchen in West Kirby to scoop the sought-after award.

The Courthouse is a Georgian Grade II listed building, designed by George Moneypenny and built in 1818, and the iconic property has been transformed by hotel group Flat Cap Hotels.

Headed up by executive chef Steven Tuke and head chef Ian Roberts, Barristers Bar and Restaurant specialises in inventive seasonal dishes using produce sourced predominantly from local suppliers.

The room features an elaborately-domed ceiling, and the walls are covered in mirrors and artwork, including famous mugshots by Manchester artist James Blinkhorn.

Co-founder Dominic Heywood picked up the award at a black tie ceremony at Carden Park.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award. We have been overwhelmed by the success of Barristers Bar and Restaurant, and I would like to thank our dedicated and extremely hardworking team for making it such a resounding success in its first year of business.”

Eleven signature hotel rooms are soon to launch in the East and West wings of the building, with another 40 due by 2020. The Rooftop Gardens are due to open to the public later this month.