Craig Bancroft MI
Joint Managing Director, Northcote
Craig Bancroft is managing director at Northcote, a Michelin Star Boutique Hotel set in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire. Since joining the hotel as General Manager in 1983 with Chef Patron Nigel Haworth he has focused on creating an oasis of food and wine excellence with genuine service. This commitment has led the hotel to flourish over the years and win numerous awards. Most recently Hotel of the Year 2016 in the AA Hospitality Awards and Hotel of the Year 2017 in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, as well as Craig himself being awarded The Caterer’s Hotelier of the Year 2016 and Imbibe Hotel Personality of the Year 2017.
Craig’s career began as a kitchen porter in London’s Kensington Close Hotel before undergoing training with the Trusthouse Forte International Management programme. After working as a chef at Hotel Plaza Athénée, Paris, which held two Michelin stars at the time, Craig’s career led him to prestigious properties including Browns Hotel, The Westbury and Grosvenor House, alongside some more commercial experience at The Strand Palace, Regent Palace and The Cumberland. He then arrived at Northcote where he and his team began transforming it into the prestigious boutique hotel it is today.
Most recently, Craig project managed the £7.5m investment in Northcote to take the business from a 14 bedroom hotel to a 26 bedroom property with state-of-the-art kitchen, Chefs Table, Cookery School and the Louis Roederer Rooms for events and private dining.
Craig enjoys developing young careers within Northcote, finding great satisfaction in cultivating and encouraging employees’ skills. He says that, “The current focus for us all within the industry is to get people into hospitality. It’s an amazing business with a bright future, which needs talented young and more mature people alike to maintain its continued growth.” In line with these principles, Northcote is involved with charities Springboard and Princes Trust, which nurture young people into sustainable employment. Northcote also work with Hospitality Action, who provide support and assistance to struggling members of the hospitality industry. During Northcote’s annual gastronomic event, Obsession 17, the hotel raised £32,000 for the charity.
Craig has always had passion for food and wine, which he has developed over the years and saw him enter The Academy of Food and Wine Hall of Fame in 2010. Matching wine with food is an integral part of the experience Craig creates for his guests. With his team of five sommeliers, he takes great pride in curating a wine list to complement Chef Patron Nigel Haworth’s menu. Craig meets with the Northcote wine team monthly to revise the wine list and ensure its constant improvement. The broad list currently includes 52 Champagnes and Sparkling Wines and 500 Bins of still wines from 20 different countries, ranging from £26 through to £800. In 2016, their hard work was recognised when Northcote won the Best of Award of Excellence in the 2016 Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Awards for an outstanding wine list. This extremely prestigious award is only granted to 11 English restaurants.
Outside of work, Craig loves game shooting during the season, he is a BBQ enthusiast, keen cook and enjoys good food and wine with family and friends.
- Imbibe Hotel Personality of the Year 2017 (sponsored by Champagne Louis Roederer)
- Hotelier of the Year 2016 - The Caterer
- Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Awards 2016 - Best Award of Excellence
- Industry Titan - Boutique Hotelier Power List 2016
- Grand Commander Confrérie du Sabre d’Or 2016
- NRB Top 50 Awards 2015 - Special Achievement Award: Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft
- Chavalier of Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne 2014
- La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs - Maitre d'Hotel 2014
- Imbibe Hotel Personality of the Year 2014
- WPI award – Services to Portuguese Wines March 2013
- Master Innholder 2010
- Fellow on the Institute of Hospitality 2010
- Craig enters The Academy of Food & Wine 2010 Hall of Fame
- Catey Awards 2009 - Special Award: Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft
- Member of The Academie du Champagne July 2005
- French wines Match Competition 2004
Craig Bancroft beat competition from hotels and restaurants nationwide to win the top prize for food and wine matching skills.
- Trophée Gosset Celèbris 2004
Best North West champagne List
- Wine Magazine Sommelier Challenge 2003
- Acorn Award - The Caterer & Hotelkeeper 1987