An award-winning pub has been given a new lease of life through its new chef.

Lauren Bell, originally from Newcastle, has joining the team as a chef.

Lauren, who moved to Haydon Bridge four years ago from Newcastle, first made her mark on the Tyne Valley culinary scene at the village’s Anchor Hotel.

Proving a dab hand, she went on to complete an apprenticeship at Langley Castle.

The 23-year-old winner of a national Nestle cooking competition has now joined the Tannery in Hexham, joining James Mongan, from Hedley Mill, who has previously worked for the Apartment group, Newcastle.

Lauren said: “I never expected to have a passion for cooking.

“I even used to burn pizzas.

“And now I have built up a good reputation in the area.”

Lauren, who is currently the only chef at the Tannery, has developed a new menu for the pub, taking inspiration from her travels across India and Africa, as well as friends and family.

She said: “It is quite a quirky pub, so I knew I could go a bit quirky with the design.”

And that she has, with the Humm dog, a bacon wrapped hot dog with red onion marmalade and melted cheese, proving popular with locals.

Lauren already has big plans for the pub on Gilesgate.

She said: “I am always thinking, what can I do next?

“I want to do pizza by the slice and work on a dog-friendly menu.

“I also plan to get an allotment soon so I can grow my own produce.”

James, who has owned the pub for two years, said: “I finally feel like we’ve got the food right. I myself have put on a stone since Lauren joined, in a testament to the great moreish food she cooks.

“We are working together to create a happy environment where people leave feeling very full.”

The duo hope to introduce an express lunch text service, partnered with Advanced Taxis, and a boozy afternoon tea.