Food and Drink Festival Awards: voting opens

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News release: 03 July 2017

Voting has opened for the St Albans Food and Drink Festival awards with almost 350 nominations on the menu.

Scene from street finale of food and drink festival
Thirteen titles are up for grabs in the annual contest including best pub, best cafe and best market stall. 

Also included are three new titles – best restaurant for a special occasion, best restaurant for everyday dining and best place to do business.

The poll is open to all with everyone encouraged to vote for their favourites in the online ballot which runs until Monday 28 August.

After the public vote is finished, the top three in each category will go through to the final stage of the competition.

They will be judged by the Festival steering group, including food and drink experts, who will carry out surprise visits and tastings.

Once they have decided on the winners, the results will be revealed at a glittering Festival Awards Dinner at Sopwell House Hotel on Monday 2 October. 
  
The nominations were made by the public in April and May. Every nominated business or individual that met the category criteria has been put forward for the vote. 

For details on how to vote and for further information about the festival, please go to: www.enjoystalbans.com/foodanddrinkawards

The Food and Drink Festival, now in its tenth year, is organised by St Albans City and District Council.

It runs from Wednesday 27 September to Saturday 7 October and includes a wide range of activities such as cookery demonstrations and wine tastings.

One of the highlights is the St Albans Street Feastival on Sunday 1 October when the City Centre is closed to traffic and taken over by 80-plus food and drink stalls.

Food and Drink Festival street finale 2016
Councillor Beric Read, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community, said: “Our food and drink sector has grown rapidly in recent years, making the City an even more enjoyable place to live while generating many jobs and career opportunities.

“These awards have grown in prestige over the years and are always keenly contested. They recognise the talent and hard work that goes into providing us all with a fantastic range of dining venues and food and drink products.

“We have everything here from craft beer breweries and street food to fine dining establishments. All will be showcased at the Festival later this year.

“I urge people who use food and drink businesses in the District to show their appreciation by voting for the ones that have impressed them the most.”

The Festival awards categories and nominees (St Albans City unless stated) are: 

Best Restaurant for a Special Occasion:
4 Nations, Anastasias Greek Restaurant, Ayos, Bangkok Lounge (Harpenden), Bar Espresso, Bar Meze, Bistro Paprika, Chez Mumtaj, Chilli Raj, Cote Brasserie, Craft & Cleaver, Dylans Kings Arms, Freddie’s, Galvin at Centurion Club, Jamie’s Italian, L’Italiana, Little Marrakech, Lussmanns, Lussmans (Harpenden), Number 23, Oxscale (Wheathampstead), Per Tutti, Prime, St Michael’s Manor Hotel, St Villa, Tabure, Thai Square, The Beech House, The Foragers at the Verulam Arms, The Oasis, The Peacock Bar & Kitchen, The Prae Wood Arms, The Waffle House,  Thompson St Albans, Trattoria Italiana da Franco (Harpenden), Veer Dhara.

Best Restaurant for Everyday Use:
Bangkok Lounge (Harpenden), Bar Azita (Harpenden), Bar Espresso, Bar Meze, Bill’s, Carluccio’s, Chez Mumtaj, Cote Brasserie, Craft & Cleaver, Dylans Kings Arms, George Street Canteen, Godfrey’s (Harpenden), Great Northern, Jamie’s Italian, Kimaya, La Cosa Nostra, L’Italiana, Lussmanns, Lussmans (Harpenden), Oxscale (Wheathampstead), Pasto Cibo (Harpenden), Per Tutti, Pin Petch, Relish Real Burgers, Tabure, Thai Square, The Bean and Stove, The Beech House, The Boot, The Cock Inn, The Cricketers (Redbourn), The Foragers at the Verulam Arms, The Gate (Bricket Wood), The Green Kitchen, The Meating Room, The Oasis, The Peacock Bar & Kitchen, The Prae Wood Arms, The Snug, The Waffle House, Thompson St Albans, Veer Dhara, Verdi’s Trattoria, Wagamama, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, Zaza (Harpenden), Zizzi..

Best Pub:
Blacksmith Arms, Craft & Cleaver, Dylan's Kings Arms, Great Northern, Hare & Hounds, Six Bells, Speckled Hen, The Boot, The Cock, The Cricketers (Redbourn), The Cross Keys (Harpenden),  The Crown, The Farmer's Boy, The Farriers, The Foragers at The Verulam Arms, The Fox, The Gate (Bricket Wood), The Holly Bush, The Horn, The Jolly Sailor, The King Harry, The Mermaid, The Peacock Bar & Kitchen, The Peahen, The Prae Wood Arms, The Plough & Harrow (Harpenden), The Plough (Sleapshyde), The Plough (Tyttenhanger), The Portland Arms, The Queen’s Head  (Sandridge), The Rose and Crown, The Slug and Lettuce (Harpenden), The White Hart Tap, The White Lion; The White Swan, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. 

Best Bar: 
Bar Azita (Harpenden), Craft & Cleaver, Dylan's Kings Arms, Harry’s (Harpenden), Mokoko, Suckerpunch, The Beech House, The Peacock Bar & Kitchen, The Peahen, The Slug and Lettuce, The Slug and Lettuce (Harpenden), The Snug.

Best Café:
Abigail’s Tea Room, Baked Nation,  Bar Espresso, Barissimo, Cafe Alfresco, Café Nero, Café Nero (Harpenden), Café On The Corner;, Café Roma, Carluccio’s, Carmelo’s (London Colney), Charlie's Coffee & Company,  Charlie’s (Wheathampstead), Dulcie’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gail’s, George St Canteen, Hatch on the Hill,  JK Palmers,  Kanuka, Lebanese Kitchen, Molen’s, NICE (Harpenden), The Bean and Stove, The Bread Shop, The Courtyard Café, The Exquisite Peacock Emporium, The Fleetville Larder, The Green Kitchen, The Juice Pharm, The Pudding Stop, The Smoke House Deli, The Waffle House, Trattoria Italiana da Franco (Harpenden). 

Best Local Producer:
Carpenter's Nursery (Sandridge), Dizzy Bee Kitchen, Earthworks Emma’s Eggs, Hammond’s End Farm, Farr Brew (Wheathampstead), Hedges Farm Shop, I Am Cocoa, Oaklands College, Redbournbury Watermill and Bakery, The Three Brewers.

Best Food and Drink Shop:
A&C Meats, Beer Shop, Buongiorno Italia, Carluccio’s, Carpenter's Nursery (Sandridge), Eat Wholefoods, Farr Brewery (Wheathampstead), Flagship Wines, Fleetville Larder, Gail’s, George Street Canteen, Hedges, Marks & Spencer, Parker & Vine (Harpenden), Rock Pop Candy, Rollings Wine Company (Harpenden), The Bread Shop, Thirty Nine 10, Tomoka Spirts, Waitrose, Yvette’s Chocolates.  

Best Market Stall:
24 Carrot, Brownbread, Carmen’s Caribbean Kitchen, Filipo’s Italian Cheeses, Chrissy's Cupcakes, Comida Brasil,  Cossack Cuisine,  Dave’s Tasty Bites, Dizzy Bee Kitchen, Earthworks, Eat Wholefoods, Farr Brew, Cheese Wheeler, Grove Fruits, Jon’s Streat Food, Kimaya, Lantern House, Lebanese Kitchen, The Meating Room, Med Grill, Mumtaj, New Gulshan, The Oasis, Omsins Thai Takeaway, Orissa Real Indian Food,  Paya (Harpenden), Peddling Pizza, Po Che, The Pudding Stop, Relish Real Burgers, Bua Thai, Thai Rack, The Kebab Shop, The Rice, The Yard Pizzeria, Veer Dhara, The Viceroy.

Best Takeaway:
Bangkok Lounge (Harpenden), Bar Espresso, Barrissimo, Charlie’s Coffee Company, The Cherry Tree (Wheathampstead), Chi Chinese Cuisine, Chilli Bar and Kitchen,  Chilli Raj, China House, Chinese Express, Colney Fish Bar and Kebab (London Colney), Devdas, Fishy Delishy, Flame Light, Godfrey’s (Harpenden), Harry’s Takeaway, Hatch, Hong Kong Inn, Jon’s Streat Food, Kimaya, Lantern House, Lebanese Kitchen, The Meating Room, Med Grill, Mumtaj, New Gulshan, The Oasis, Omsins Thai Takeaway, Orissa Real Indian Food, Paya (Harpenden), Peddling Pizza, Po Che, The Pudding Stop, Relish Real Burgers, Bua Thai, Thai Rack, The Kebab Shop, The Rice (Colney Heath), The Yard Pizzeria (Harpenden), Veer Dhara, The Viceroy (Bricket Wood).

Best Place To Do Business:
The Beech House, The Bread Shop, The Breakfast Club, Dylan’s Kings Arms, George Street Canteen, Hatch, Hatch on the Hill, The King Harry, The Peacock Kitchen & Bar, The Cock Inn, The Foragers at the Verulam Arms, The Waffle House.

Most Family Friendly Venue:
Bangkok Lounge (Harpenden),  Bar Espresso, Bar Meze, Beech House, Bill’s, The Meating Room, Carmelo’s (London Colney), Dylan’s Kings Arms, The Exquisite Peacock Emporium, George Street Canteen, Godfrey’s (Harpenden), Hatch on the Hill, Inn on the Park, Jamie’s Italian, La Cosa Nostra, L’Italiana, The Oasis, Peddling Pizza, The Plough & Harrow (Harpenden), Relish Real Burgers, The Smoke House Deli, The Cricketers (Redbourn), The Fleetville Larder, The Foragers at The Verulam Arms, The Fox (Harpenden),  The Gate (Bricket Wood),  The Old Bell (Harpenden), The Plough (Tyttenhanger), The Waffle House, Veer Dhara, Wagamama, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.

Best Newcomer:
24Carrot, The Bean and Stove, Box Local, Carmelo’s (London Colney), The Fleetville Larder, Gail’s, George Street Pantry, Hatch on the Hill, The Juice Pharm, La Vista, Oxscale (Wheathampstead), Peddling Pizza, The Rose and Crown, St Villa Bar & Restaurant, The Oasis, Thirty Nine 10, Yvette’s Chocolates.

Kate D’Arcy Award for Customer Service:
Ross Avvinti, Bar Espresso; Carmelo Giallombardo, Carmelo's; Charlie, Charlie's Coffee Company; Christo Toffali, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks;  Ferenc Zellenac, Thirty Nine 10; Fouad Hassan, Bar Meze; Julie Lee, George Street Canteen; Luke Jones, Foragers at the Verulam Arms;  Matt Peacock, Jamie’s Italian; Molly Hardwick, Hatch; Motin Miah, Bangkok Lounge (Harpenden);  Phil Thompson, Thompson St Albans; Jonny Shepherd, Pudding Stop;  Ana Daniels, Rock Pop Candy;  Sara Shilsson, Godfrey’s (Harpenden); Sarah Hopkins, Per Tutti; Sean Hughes, Dylans Kings Arms; Mark Pearse, Tabure; Ed Bevin, Fleetville Larder.

PICTURES: Scenes from last year’s street finale

Councillor contact: 
Cllr Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community for St Albans City and District Council. Email: Cllr.B.Read@stalbans.gov.uk;Tel: 07956 220264 
  
Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City District Council. E-mail: john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk; Tel: 01727 296130.