Meet the team
David Hancock – MANAGING DIRECTOR
Founder of Inn Places and fount of all pub knowledge, David’s 25 years previous includes past Editor of Sawday’s Pubs and Inns Guide, AA Room at the Inn and Egon Ronay’s Pubs & Inns Guide. Well known and respected across the industry not only for his love and detailed knowledge of pubs, food, drink and great walks but also for his talent as a writer, inspector and Pub Guide editor. David also contributes to the Good Food Guide, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser as a writer and awards judge (Publican Awards, Great British Pub Awards, Top 50 Gastropub Awards), and has written pub-related articles for the Sunday Times, the Independent and Country Life Magazine. No one knows pubs like David!
Gabrielle Grazebrook – MARKETING DIRECTOR
After many years of working in Business Development for major global corporations, Gabrielle discovered the joys of the independent pub sector and has never looked back. Since meeting David at a pub company launch in 2007, they struck up a firm friendship and she has been striving away with David on Inn Places since it was little more than an idea in the making. Living a hectic rural life in the depths of Dorset surrounded by family, dogs and horses, getting away to stay in the amazing inns featured on the Inn Places website is currently more of a dream than a reality but you should see her Wish List for when her time comes!
Andrew Turvil- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Andrew is a former editor of The Good Food Guide, AA Restaurant Guide and Which? Pub Guide whose career of eating, drinking and scribbling has spanned twenty-five years. Freelance since 2006, he has written and edited for companies such as Google, Time Out and Square Meal, and most recently has decided to put his money where his mouth is and take over a London pub. Andrew is also a keen screenwriter with one competition-winning short film to his credit and one feature film option in the bag.
Amanda Wragg- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Amanda Wragg was born in Sheffield but taken in a drawer to the Peak District in Derbyshire when she was hours old. She went to school in Bakewell but got a taste for a faster life and was drawn to the bright lights of Leeds, where she stayed much longer than she intended. Whilst ostensibly researching serious stories for Yorkshire Television she travelled the world looking for good things to eat. She’s now a food and travel writer, mainly for the Yorkshire Post but for anyone else who’ll pay her. She has a secret life as an inspector and writer for a couple of prestigious food guides, but if she told you she’d have to kill you.
She’s covered cafes, pubs and restaurants for the Sunday Times and Guardian and Alastair Sawday’s Special Places. She divides her time between the windy Pennines above Hebden Bridge and the Yorkshire coast, and spends too much time listening to 6Music and staring out of her ‘office’ window onto the flinty moors, wondering what the weather’s like in Staithes. When she’s not eating or pounding the keyboard you’ll find her out walking with her disobedient Parson’s Terrier, Archie.
Vincent Crump- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Vincent Crump has been writing and editing on travel and the outdoors for nearly 20 years, for the last 15 of them as an integral part of the Sunday Times Travel team. For the Sunday Times, Vincent has eaten snakeburgers in Vietnam, completed the Beaujolais Run in a bulldozer, and ridden Britain’s six scariest roller-coasters in a single weekend. Between articles, he has penned a guidebook on London, edited Britain’s biggest magazine for walkers, and inspected for Alastair Sawday’s Pubs & Inns Guide.
In his spare time Vincent loves nothing more than cresting a hilltop in the Peak District to spot the chimney of a village inn smoking invitingly in the next valley – and hates nothing more than arriving there minutes after the kitchen stopped serving food. He also plays competitive pétanque and amateurish ukulele, though never at the same time.
Rebecca Harris- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Becca has a passion for wildlife, wild places and foreign cultures. Through her work as a TV producer she’s been lucky enough to travel and stay all over the globe, with particular expertise in Africa, South America, the Arctic and Antarctic. She’s also reviewed travel books for the Royal Geographical Society’s ‘Geographical Magazine’ and most recently contributed to the 2015 ‘Oxford Handbook of Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’. When back in the UK, Becca inspects pubs and bed and breakfasts, revelling in everything that makes Britain special and unique – from the beautiful countryside, fresh produce, delicious craft beers and ciders, wonderful places to stay and the inspirational people who make this happen (and really care about their marmalades and jams!).
Colin Cheyne- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Colin has been so fortunate to have had a varied journey since leaving Aberdeen University in 1969. Work in the paper industry, cars, textiles, pubs, hotels and business support finally qualified him to become a certified management consultant. Mostly great fun with the underlying recognition that it is people that make the world go round – not money!
All along the way a pub with good company, beer and food has played a strong part in deciding where he lived, which brought him to a superb all-round inn, which he ran for 15 years – the warmth, generosity and great humour from customers remains a very happy memory. Having been fortunate enough to work with David Hancock on a variety of pub guides has allowed him to see many enterprising pubs, some quite outstanding, and this has kept him feeling involved. Another of his key passions is access to hills and open countryside and living for over 30 years in the Eden Valley in Cumbria meets most of his needs. So, long live the pub to keep us sane and engaged with all sorts of people.
Mark Taylor- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Mark Taylor’s writing and editing career started as a teenager in the 1980s when he published fanzines for Manchester band The Smiths. He soon realised that food was the new rock and roll and he eventually worked his way up through the ranks of regional newspapers to become a features writer and restaurant critic for the Bristol Post, a position he still holds. Freelance for the past decade, he has written on food for The Sunday Times, Guardian, Financial Times, Independent on Sunday and a number of regional newspapers and magazines including award-winning South West food monthly Crumbs. When he’s not eating in restaurants, he cooks for his family and tries to work it off by playing cricket ‘badly’.
David Ashby- INSPECTOR/WRITER
After renovating a 600-year old Cornish house David headed for the East and spent 3-years in Asia and Australia. On returning he wrote a book, formed a band and worked in landscape design. and construction. A university degree in Business and Tourism led to a stint working for Abercrombie & Kent and then the setting up of his own European travel company, Ashby’s Europe, which specialised in walking and cycling tours. At the same time he also researched and wrote for the excellent ‘Special Places’ series by Alastair Sawday Publishing as well as guides by the AA such as ‘Room at the Inn’. David has spent countless hours researching that unique institution which is the British pub and is a devoted champion of the incredible renaissance that has swept though the land and seen our pubs go from strength to strength. He firmly believes that good pubs are integral to the well-being of the nation, helping us to preserve regional identities, celebrate local ales and produce, and act as hubs from which all manner of worthy causes can flourish. Currently on an extended ‘leave of duty’ he is volunteering and travelling in those parts of the globe he has not yet visited. See – www.ashbysworld.com
Paul Hennessy- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Paul spent his formative years in the commercial world in the City of London and running several successful businesses. He has spent 30 years of eating and drinking in some of the best places in the country and has a large knowledge and love of the Great British Pub. Paul has written for online portals, regional magazines and national guides. Paul now spends a considerable amount of his time inspecting Pubs for the Sawday’s Pubs and Inns Guide throughout the country. His time is spent diligently eating and drinking in some of the best pubs in the country for the benefit of Mankind – well someone has to do it! He spends his time split between the Cotswolds Hills and the rugged Cornish Coast. When Paul is relaxing, you’ll find him either eating and drinking in great British Pubs, or waxing lyrical about food, wine, beer and other essential life preserving things. A keen amateur cook with over 500 cook books, you will often find Paul tinkering and experimenting in the kitchen, with something chilled in hand, looking for that magical food moment.
Jo Bruce- INSPECTOR/WRITER
Jo Bruce has been immersed in the exciting world of pubs and inns for the past 12 years as food editor and then managing editor on leading pub trade newspaper the Publican’s Morning Advertiser. During her time on the title she visited hundreds of the UK’s top pubs, discovering more about the secrets of their business success and testing the quality of their food. She was also responsible for organising and judging leading ind ustry awards including the Top 50 Gastropub Awards, the PubChef Food Excellence Awards, the Great British Pub Awards and the Publican Awards. Now a freelance writer and hospitality industry consultant, Jo’s desert island pub dish would be a steak and ale with creamy mash and a large glass of Argentinian Malbec. She is a failed toddler tamer.
Glyn Williams- INSPECTOR/WRITER
A foodie through-and-through, Glyn is passionate about local food and hospitality. Whether a great bag of chips (so long as they involve beef dripping and a sea view) or a full-blown fine dining experience, he just relishes great ingredients and good cooking, whatever the occasion and company. Graduating in hotel management and many years running them, Glyn decided to ‘walk the walk’ after ‘talking the talk’ for five years with the AA and Les Routiers as an area hotel inspector and regional manager, when he took on the leasehold of an Adnams leasehold hotel in Southwold. Whilst the hard graft and stress of hotel life has long gone, he still lives in Southwold, making a happy living as a restaurant PR man, food editor and hospitality consultant. He has just finished his second edible volume, publishing and co-authoring Suffolk Feast: One County, Twenty Chefs – Cookbook and Food Lovers’ Guide. Now a grumpy old man, Glyn believes wearing a tie usually means someone has died, so for him a great boutique inn whether in a cultural urban setting or some dreamy location in the countryside or on the coast, is the perfect expression of relaxed hotel keeping, good cooking and of course fine drinking. And it’s a ‘Cheers!’ from him.
Jackie Bates – OUT & ABOUT WRITER
Jackie has spent the last twenty-odd years writing for and editing various well-known food and accommodation guides, including the AA Pub and Restaurant Guides, and the Good Food Guide. She has also been lucky enough to eat a lot of nice food. Her interest in cooking and eating began in her mid-teens despite (or maybe because of) her parents’ almost total disinterest. Jackie’s interest in books and writing began long before that, and a degree in English led to a career in publishing. She reads a lot. Mostly non-fiction these days. She writes fiction for fun, likes punk rock and dance music, and is reasonably pierced for a middle-aged person. She never wears trousers – if you see a woman climbing over a five-bar gate in purple wellies and a skirt, it might be her. And why would she be climbing over a five-bar gate? In order to examine a standing stone or a stone circle – why else?
Nick Channer – OUT & ABOUT WRITER
Nick is a travel journalist and author with a wide knowledge of Britain’s long-distance trails, historic country houses and spectacular coastline. He has contributed to many pub guides and lifestyle publications and his specialist subjects include walking, film and television locations, literary tourism and journeys from fiction. Among many assignments for newspapers and magazines, Nick traced Richard Hannay’s likely route through Scotland in the classic spy thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps and followed in the steps of Sherlock Holmes to Switzerland. He has worked on many titles in the AA’s popular 50 Walks series, and with David Hancock wrote Walking in England and Wales. Nick’s latest book Writers’ Houses: Where Great Books Began includes a foreword by Oscar-winning screenwriter, Julian Fellowes.