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Restaurateur Clive Davidson dies aged 72

10 November 2016 by
Restaurateur Clive Davidson dies aged 72

Clive Davidson, owner and proprietor of the Champany Inn hotel in Linlithgow, Scotland, passed away on 4 November. He was 72.

Born in South Africa, Davidson dedicated 50 years to the industry, during which time he opened the Champany Inn with his wife, Anne, in 1982.

It is believed that Davidson was the first operator in the UK to introduce an indoor charcoal grill to the kitchen, which he designed himself, enabling him to hone his South African ‘braai' cooking skills, combining Scottish and South African cuisines in the hotel restaurant.

Davidson had a passion for Scottish beef and salmon alongside French and South African wine.

Since its opening, the Champany has launched a Chop & Ale house, added 16 bedrooms to the site and opened a Champany Wine shop. Davidson was recognised for his exemplary collection of wines in 1990 when he was awarded a Catey Wine Award.

Other accolades include Hotel & Restaurant, Meat Restaurant of the Year, 1999; AA Wine Award 2002; and Catering in Scotland's Restaurant of the Year, 2013. In 2008 the restaurant won a Michelin star.

In 1984 he was invited into the Order of La Confrérie Chevaliers du Tastevin, Vin de Bourgogne, a worldwide ‘brotherhood' of wine enthusiasts. And in 2005, Davidson was made an ambassador for Great Britain by L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

Chef Brian Turner, friend of Davidson, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that Clive was a special man and as far as I am concerned my memories tell me that he was one of the finest hosts I have ever met. I remember many bottles that we shared together and the times particularly when he hated sharing them with an Englishman!

"Clive will be very much missed‎ by a lot of people, of course not all for the same reason. A man who taught us never to compromise but always had a twinkle in his eye when it was necessary."

A memorial service will be held for Davidson at 12 noon on Monday 16 January 2017 at St Michael's Church, Linlithgow, Scotland. All are welcome.

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