By Philip Sedgwick

AFTER three years in charge of a Dales restaurant, its owners have three reasons to celebrate.

Michael and Sarah bought a Leyburn pizza restaurant in August 2014, rebranding as Thirteen several months later. They moved from serving solely Italian staples to a British seasonal menu. Now their gastronomic gamble has paid off and they have received a prestigious award for culinary excellence with an AA one rosette.

Mrs McBride said: “When a customer called to settle his bill, he said that he was recommending us for an award. I was taken aback and I have been on cloud nine ever since.”

The couple, married for 11 years, first met while working in York. Mrs McBride is from Coverdale, and Michael hails from Bishop Auckland, and has worked in some of the best kitchens across North Yorkshire.

Mr McBride said: “Although we are a great team, to be recognised this way is also personal. It is a massive boost and a just reward for all our hard work.”

The award is cause for a triple celebration as it came on the same day as their wedding anniversary and Mr McBride’s birthday, although there won’t be any time off.

It will be business as usual, following their daily routine of an early start and late finish.