A VEGAN food blogger, an enchanted tea room and a local farm shop were just some of the winners at the Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards recently.
The glittering awards evening shone a spotlight on some of the region’s best hospitality businesses with a total of 50 fighting it out across 17 food and drink categories.
This is the second year this awards ceremony has been running, hosted by Fargo Village in Coventry and run in partnership with Visit Warwickshire and Visit Coventry.
The finalists came under the scrutiny of a judging panel made up of some well known-names in the industry, including Michelin Star chef Paul Foster, who runs Stratford’s Salt restaurant, British Bake-off winner Candice Brown and food and drink broadcaster and champion Nigel Barden. Warwickshire food blogger Ellen Manning, of Eat With Ellen, also helped judge the Fine Dining Chef cook-off.
The Enchanted Tea Room in Leamington, a forest-themed tea room combining the tradition of afternoon tea with live theatre style performance, was the winner of the Food and Drink Experience Award.
Co-owner Kelly Isles said: “This time last year we won the community hero award for feeding the NHS free meals during Covid at a time when our business was closed for 18 months. We didn’t know if we even had a business. This year’s award was perfect timing for us as we’ve worked so hard to save our business and are absolutely thrilled to win this award.”
Katie Todd from Henley, a vegan food blogger, won the Young Foodie Award. The 25-year-old set up her vegan blog in 2020, creating easy plant-based recipes as well as running a street food event called The Veg Weekender.
She said: “I am over the moon to be named Young Foodie of the Year and be recognised alongside so many fantastic people and businesses here in the Midlands. My mission is to show people that vegan food is delicious, enjoyable and in growing demand.”
Dough and Brew in Warwick scooped the award for Best Casual Dining Establishment.
Owner of the pizza restaurant, John Martin, said: “We were delighted and humbled to have won against such great competition, and having the award presented by culinary genius Paul Foster was also a great honour for the team. We hope to continue to live up to expectations and thank everyone that has, and continues to, support us.”
And the Best Pub or Bar Award went to The Coach House in Stratford.
General Manager Linzi Toon said: “We are beyond proud of achieving this award, to deliver Best Pub/Bar to the heart of Stratford is a real honour. Since opening last year we have worked hard to create a super environment and experience for our valued customers. It’s wonderful to see that hard work realised in this prestigious award.”
Other award winners included:
– Foodie Start-up Award – St Maur in Alcester
– International Taste Award – The Cork and Tile in Stratford
– Farm Shop of the Year Award – The Farm in Snitterfield
– Artisan Food Producer Award – Vittle and Smoke in Southam
– Independent Food and Drink Retailer of the Year Award – LOLA Provisions in Leamington
– Best Cafe or Coffee Shop – Forrest Coffee House in Kenilworth.