A POPULAR tapas restaurant and cocktail bar has celebrated a top hygiene score for the first time since opening – just as the country moves back into lockdown.

The Lighthouse, on Park End Street in Oxford, secured a five star rating with food hygiene and safety scored as ‘very good’.

The restaurant also scored a ‘very good’ for structural compliance and ‘good’ for confidence in management.

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Oxford City Council’s environmental health team inspected the lighthouse on October 1.

General manager, Didier Savioz,was thrilled with the score.

He said: “We are very pleased because it is the first five star rating we have got since we opened in 2014, so it is a nice achievement for us.”

Mr Savioz added: “It is something we have been really working towards and looking forward to and finally it has arrived.

“So, all of are very pleased that the hard work has paid off.”

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He said the restaurant had seen some busy weekends recently and had been able to stay open with Covid-safety measures in place.

However, new lockdown measures will mean the venue will be forced to close. A takeaway menu will not be on the cards as Mr Savioz wants to keep the restaurant's standards high.

Mr Savioz said he believed more planning was needed for takeaway and felt some of the quality and presentation would be lost with deliveries.

Instead he will wait until the restaurant can reopen in December.

He said: “We do not want to lower our standards we would rather wait for a month and have people that are happy to come back.”

The city centre tapas restaurant is in a historic building.

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The lighthouse building was once a canal pub, and has previously been called Navigation End, the Queen's Arms, Rosie O’Gradys and The Duke’s Cut.

The pub is built on the remains of a Baptist meeting house, destroyed in 1715.

By 1830, James Pacey ran the pub as Navigation End.

Pacey’s Bridge, which runs next to the pub, is named after him.

The pub still offers traditional ales which are brewed locally as well as cocktails, wine and tapas.

The restaurant also offers visitors coffee and cake with views of the castle and stream.

The Lighthouse offers private hire for celebrations and Christmas parties.

It also offers a cocktail masterclass experience hosted by a professional mixologist.