Christchurch restaurant, The Jetty, has won the Taste of South West Award category for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2011-2012.

The official tourism awards for the region, the Mudeford-based restaurant was shortlisted and visited by a Mystery Guest, scoring extremely well in all criteria. Read our interview with head chef, Alex Aitken, here.

With 45 Winners announced in total, chosen from 350 entries, three Winners have been announced in each category and The Jetty sits alongside two highly acclaimed and established South West restaurants – the Two Michelin Star restaurant at Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon and The Bath Priory Hotel Restaurant, Bath; both headed up by chef Michael Caines MBE.

Formerly operated as ‘Rhodes South’ and fronted by Gary Rhodes, the restaurant re-opened as The Jetty just over a year ago, appointing one of the New Forest’s most renowned Michelin Star chefs, Alex Aitken, to head up the team.

Bringing with him fantastic knowledge of local food, produce and suppliers, Alex’s menu at The Jetty majors on the local ingredients he has always championed, and as a result both locals and visitors to the area are returning time and time again.

Alex said of the news: “We are delighted to have been chosen as a winner in this category, the fact that we have been selected alongside two such highly respected and recognized restaurants is a clear testament to our fantastic team, demonstrating just how far we have come in such a short amount of time. By using local produce and celebrating our fantastic region, we aim to continue contributing to the tourism of the South West.”