Four of the region's top 'gastropub' entrepreneurs are celebrating after their restaurant was named a finalist for a prestigious industry award.

Dickens Heath-based Mortons Kitchen Bar & Deli was one of five finalists for Best Venue at the national Retailers' Retailer Awards 2006 held at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

Attended by more than 500 of the industry's leading players, other finalists included Malmaison Oxford and Sterling in London.

Paul Salisbury and Paul Hales the owners of Classic Country Pub Design Company who, along with business partners James Elliot and Andrew Breen, were behind Mortons Kitchen Bar & Deli said they were delighted by the recognition.

"We are known for our country pubs such as the Orange Tree at Chadwick End and the Crabmill at Preston Bagot," said Mr Salisbury.

"To take on a completely new build in a new development with a new concept was an exciting, but at the same time daunting, project for us.

"This award makes us even more proud of our latest venture."

The Boot Inn at Lapworth, part-owned by Mr Elliot, is undergoing a £100,000 facelift and will reopen on Saturday with a refurnished restaurant.