|Occupation||hotelier, broadcaster and food writer|
The Hotel Inspector
Country House Rescue
Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue
|Spouse(s)||David Watson (?-present)|
Ruth Watson is an English hotelier, broadcaster and food writer.
Early life and career
In 1983, Watson and her husband David bought Hintlesham Hall in Hintlesham, Suffolk as a restaurant and cookery school from Robert Carrier, which over six years they turned into a 33-room hotel, with an 18-hole golf course. In 1990 they bought the Fox and Goose Inn at Fressingfield, launching it as one of Britain's first ever gastropubs. In November 1999, Watson and her husband bought the Crown and Castle Hotel in Orford near Woodbridge, Suffolk, which they have fully restored and run as a modern country house hotel.
In January 2013 Watson commenced the first stage of a judicial review action, after the restaurant at the Crown and Castle Hotel was awarded a 1 out of 5 food hygiene rating. Watson has claimed that an independent expert has since carried out her own assessment disputing the rating, and that a judicial review will allow a court to determine the fairness of the inspection and the rating. In June 2013 the Crown and Castle Hotel regained a 5 rating for food hygiene.
Ruth Watson's hotel experience brought her to the eye of various publishers, and was asked in 1994 by friend Delia Smith to be a contributing food editor on Sainsbury's Magazine. Watson subsequently became food editor of the Daily Mail Weekend magazine, for which she was shortlisted for a Glenfiddich Award as newspaper cookery writer in 2001, and won twice as Cookery Writer of the year – in 1997 and 2000. Watson has written three books: the Really Helpful Cookbook published in October 2000 by Ebury Press; the slimming book Fat Girl Slim, while her cook book Something for the Weekend is in its third edition.
In autumn 2005, Ruth Watson's public profile greatly increased when she became the star of the Channel 5 television series The Hotel Inspector. In each episode of this observational documentary series, Watson would visit a struggling British hotel and try to turn their fortunes by giving advice and suggestions to the owner. Watson's direct style appealed to viewers and The Hotel Inspector has became one of Channel 5's most popular series of the 2000s (the show won a Royal Television Society Award in November 2006). Despite this, Watson decided not to undertake a fourth series, and was succeeded on the programme by hotelier Alex Polizzi.
In November 2007, Ruth Watson signed an exclusive two-year deal with Channel 4 to front a number of television shows, the first of which explores the commercial development of Britain's country houses. Titled, Country House Rescue, the series was broadcast on Channel 4 on Tuesday nights in December 2008 – January 2009, and gained audiences of up to 2.7 million on its first run. A mini-series of catch-up episodes were broadcast a year later. A second series of Country House Rescue was commissioned by Channel 4, and started airing from March 2010. A third series aired from March 2011, and a further series of catch-up episodes aired from August 2011. However, Watson has stated on her own website that she will not present any more series of Country House Rescue in the future.
Watson also starred in another TV show that she described as "Grand Designs meets The Hotel Inspector" where she helped aspiring hoteliers start their businesses. The programme, titled Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue, premiered on Channel 4 at 8.00pm on Wednesday, 30 September 2009, and continued to air throughout October of that year. However, Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue was not re-commissioned for any further series.
Ruth Watson and her husband live in a 16th-century farmhouse in Suffolk, 20 minutes away from the Crown and Castle Hotel in Orford. The property contains a 120-acre (0.49 km2) organic farm, harvesting some produce for the Crown and Castle.
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- "BBC News – Ruth Watson: Hotel inspector gets hygiene stars back". Bbc.co.uk. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Watson, Ruth. "Fat Girl Slim". Quadrille Publishing. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
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- "C4 wants longer run of Country House Rescue". Broadcast. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Country House Rescue". ruthwatson.co.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Television". Ruth Watson. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
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