Ruth Watson

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This article is about the English hotelier. For the Canadian composer, see Ruth Watson Henderson.
Ruth Watson
Born 1950
London, England
Occupation hotelier, broadcaster and food writer
Known for Presenting:
The Hotel Inspector
Country House Rescue
Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue
Spouse(s) David Watson (?-present)
Website
Official website

Ruth Watson is an English hotelier, broadcaster and food writer.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in London, Ruth Watson was educated in London and at Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire. After taking up a career in graphic design, she became an inspector for the Good Food Guide.[1]

In 1983, Watson and her husband David bought Hintlesham Hall in Hintlesham, Suffolk as a restaurant and cookery school from Robert Carrier,[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] In June 2013 the Crown and Castle Hotel regained a 5 rating for food hygiene.[5]

Food writing[edit]

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.[1] Watson has written three books: the Really Helpful Cookbook published in October 2000 by Ebury Press; the slimming book Fat Girl Slim,[6] while her cook book Something for the Weekend is in its third edition.[2]

Broadcasting career[edit]

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.[7] 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.[2] 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.[8][9] 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.[10]

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.[11] The programme, titled Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue, premiered on Channel 4 at 8.00pm on Wednesday, 30 September 2009,[12] and continued to air throughout October of that year. However, Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue was not re-commissioned for any further series.[10]

In April 2010, Watson guest-presented the Funk & Soul Show on BBC 6 Music, standing in for Craig Charles.[13]

Personal life[edit]

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.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Ruth Watson". hattowendesign.com. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Dowell, Ben (28 November 2007). "Watson checks in to Channel 4". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  3. ^ "Crown and Castle". Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "BBC News – Ruth Watson in Orford Crown and Castle hygiene dispute". Bbc.co.uk. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "BBC News – Ruth Watson: Hotel inspector gets hygiene stars back". Bbc.co.uk. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Watson, Ruth. "Fat Girl Slim". Quadrille Publishing. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  7. ^ "The Hotel Inspector". Five.tv. Retrieved 20 May 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ "C4 wants longer run of Country House Rescue". Broadcast. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  9. ^ "Country House Rescue". ruthwatson.co.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Television". Ruth Watson. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ruth Watson ('Country House Rescue')". Digital Spy. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "Queen documentary heads up C4 season". Digital Spy. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "James May to host BBC 6 Music rock show – Media News". Digital Spy. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

External links[edit]