A top TV chef who refused to settle his bill with the designer of his gastropub has been branded "argumentative" and "brusque" by a judge, and told to cough up £75,000.

Daniel Clifford, a judge on the BBC's Great British Menu who holds two Michelin stars, said he wanted his pub - The Flitch of Bacon, in Little Dunmow, Essex - to be "perfect".

But he later complained that designer, Joanne Dawes, provided pub furniture that was "too big", leading to a "drastic" falling out over the final bills for the £285,000 project.

Now, after a bitter court battle, Mr Clifford's company, The Flitch of Bacon Ltd, has been ordered to stump up £75,000 to settle its debts to the designer.

Throwing out his claim that the furniture was too cheap or too big, Judge Nicholas Parfitt said it was more likely that it was just not to Mr Clifford's taste.

And he criticised Mr Clifford, who in court called himself "one of the best chefs in the country," saying: “My impression of Mr Clifford was that his belief in himself would trump any need for detailed and balanced recollection, this being reflected in his argumentative witness statement and his brusque approach in cross-examination."

But he also criticised Mrs Dawes, 50, who he said had "lied" at an early stage in the design project by claiming a payment for costs which had not yet been incurred.

The court heard the pub was renovated and refitted in a listed building during 2015, with Mrs Dawes' company, Jo Frances Ltd, contracted to design it.

But the parties fell out "drastically", said the judge, resulting in "a relatively high degree of animosity" between them.

At Central London County Court, the designer sued over £108,000 in unpaid invoices, accusing Mr Clifford's company of being "bad payers" and willing to do anything to get out of paying debts.

However, Mr Clifford, 45, said his company had already paid £180,000 for the work which was done on the pub and counterclaimed over allegedly shoddy work and missing items.

And the chef said he did not need to pay a penny more, due to a host of problems which he claimed were caused by the designer.

His barrister, James Stuart, claimed that the designer had been contracted to create a 60-cover bar-restaurant, but failed to do so.

Nearly £35,000 worth of seating and tables were not fit for purpose or so bulky that they did not fit properly into the space intended, he said.

Some chairs broke when people sat on them, he claimed, while tables became unsightly quickly.

He said Mr Clifford had to tear apart Miss Dawes' design and start again within months, with another designer, Teresa Azevedo Coutinho, at the helm.

However, Mrs Dawes' barrister, James Petts, denied that her work was unsatisfactory and claimed it had been done during a re-fit which was rushed to be finished in time for the busy Christmas period.

"Many of the problems attributed to her were in fact caused by the disorganisation and/or excessive haste with which the works were carried out," he said.

In his judgment, Judge Parfitt said he was "not persuaded" by Mr Clifford's claim that the pub had to be redesigned because furniture delivered was "too bulky".

It was more likely to have been a matter of taste, he continued.

"I consider a more likely explanation that Mr Clifford did not like the Claimant’s design and so required first rearrangement and then, once it could be done, a refit by Ms Coutinho," he said.

He said there was no evidence, beyond the pub owner's assertions, that the furniture which Miss Dawes provided was "cheap or residential".

And he accepted Mrs Dawes' argument that there was "no coherent or intelligible basis" for the claim that "the design of the bedrooms was defective".

There was also no evidence to substantiate the claim that the garden pergola did not fit, or that if it did not, that alterations could not have rectified that.

There had never been a "contractural obligation" for the pub to be able to sit 60 covers, he added.

However, he said the claim that Mr Clifford's company was a "bad payer" was "without evidential traction".

Poor tiling had resulted in remedial work having to be done, costing the pub in lost profits while it was closed, he said.

He awarded the pub about £30,000 damages in relation to the tiling and made other reductions to account for items not delivered and for other work to be rectified.

In total, he ordered Mr Clifford's company to pay £75,068.03 to Jo Frances Ltd, which includes interest on the unpaid invoices.

Through his Cambridge restaurant, Midsummer House, Mr Clifford has held two Michelin stars since 2005, and was in 2015-16 named Chefs' Chef of the Year at the AA awards.

He has twice been one of the winners of the BBC's annual Great British Menu competition, which sees top chefs compete against each other to serve dishes at prestigious banquets. He is now a judge on the programme.