Pub where Fleming wrote Bond may have been 1st Michelin star winner in UK

London, Sun, 04 Nov 2012 ANI

London, Nov. 4 (ANI): A pub in Kent, which supposedly inspired Ian Fleming to write the James Bond novel 'You Only Live Twice', is staking another claim to fame as the first in Britain to win the prized Michelin star.

The Duck Inn at Pett Bottom gets a mention in the 007 novel as being close to Bond's childhood home.

The pub bears a blue plaque commemorating the fact that Fleming used to sit at a table there writing while enjoying a drink and a smoke.

The pub was awarded a Michelin star for seven consecutive years from 1974 until 1981 but the triumph was never officially recognised.

"The Duck Inn was obviously well ahead of its time, as pub food in the Seventies was often not very good," the Daily Express quoted Rebecca Burr, UK editor of the Michelin Guide, as saying.

"However, the pub (serving good food) symbol was not introduced to the Michelin Guide until 1998," she said.

As a result, Stagg Inn at Titley in Herefordshire officially became the first Michelin-starred pub in 2001.

The Duck Inn's current landlord John Pryne has vowed to win back the Michelin star and has been improving the food steadily since he took over the pub's reins five years ago.

He said the prized star could have been won by the Jacobean pub's colourful landlord when Fleming was a patron.

John Farquhar Laing was famed for owning several large cars and importing produce from France that his Swedish wife Ola cooked in the pub's kitchen.

"When the Michelin star was here it was the pub's heyday. People would come down from London for an evening meal and overnight stay," Prynne said.

"Then it was sold and obviously lost its star as I presume the chef moved on.

"It was sold again and there was a point where they weren't even doing food," he added. (ANI)

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