Vote for your favourite food and drink venue

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News release: 12 September 2011

Food and Drink Festival 28 Sept – 9 Oct

2011 Food and Drink Festival banner

This is the fourth year of the St Albans Food & Drink Festival, organised by St Albans City and District Council, which showcases the fantastic range of food, drink and produce available across the district. It starts on Wednesday 28 September with the famous St Albans Beer Festival organised by CAMRA* and ends with the al fresco Festival Finale in St Peter’s Street on Sunday 9 October.

Example of a roundel on which the Tudors placed sweetmeats (1485 – 1603). This wooden roundel is decorated with paint and gilding including a rhyme or riddle. The verses or riddles on the back were part of the entertainment. Only the wealthy could afford these

Tudor roundel

Throughout the 12 days many pubs, restaurants and hotels will be offering special meal deals or holding events such as tastings, workshops and cookery demonstrations. There will also be a continental market, farmers’ market and festival stalls giving you a chance to sample and buy local food. 

From Thursday 15 September you can vote for your favourite shortlisted venue in each of the 7 categories. The winners will receive their awards at the special award ceremony to be held on Thursday 6 October at St Michael’s Manor Hotel in Fishpool Street, St Albans. Everyone is welcome to attend this prestigious event. The evening includes a welcome drink, delicious 3 course buffet and a raffle in aid of the Mayor, Cllr Aislinn Lee’s charities which are Sure-start St Albans and St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge (SAHWR).**. This event is sponsored by Flagship Wines, Mokoko and St Michael’s Manor Hotel. Tickets are £25 plus a booking fee and can be booked online:

The Mayor, Cllr Aislinn Lee commented: “This is a really fun and enjoyable event for us all. Not only do we have 12 days where we get to try out the very best food and drink in the district, but we then have the opportunity to vote for our favourites. Finally, I can’t think of a more beautiful setting than St Michael’s Manor for the awards night, when we will find out if any of our favourites win.”

The categories you can vote for from across the whole district are:

Best Restaurant
Best Pub
Best Bar
Best Café
Most Family Friendly Venue
Local Gem
Local Producer

Pictured above is last year’s demonstration by three of the district’s AA Rosette awarded restaurants: The St Michael’s Manor Hotel, Sopwell House Hotel and Chez Mumtaj

cooking demonstration at Poggenpohl’s showroom in 2010

To vote go to the website. From 15 September the shortlist for each category will be available online. 

You can also nominate an individual person working within the food and drink industry for the Kate D’Arcy Award for Exceptional Customer Service. This award was created in memory of Kate D’Arcy, co-founder of Darcys Restaurant and is for someone who has exceeded normal expectations by providing outstanding service. To vote go to the website.

Voting for all categories including the Kate D’Arcy Award closes on Friday 30 September.

If you would like more information about the event, we’ll be updating our website: and our facebook page: with more information about the Festival events. You can also E-mail: to join the mailing list.

Brochures can be downloaded from the website and are available online. You can also pick up a copy from the District Council Offices and the Tourist and Information Centre in St Albans.  
Member contact:
Cllr Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 07956 220264

Cllr Aislinn Lee, The Right Worshipful the Mayor of St Albans City & District.
Contact for the Mayor’s office:
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer
Tel: 01727 819544 E-mail: 
Contact for the press:
Davina Mansell, Information and Communication Officer
Tel: 01727 819316. E-mail:
St Albans City and District Council
Follow us on Twitter:


* CAMRA campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. It is an independent, voluntary organisation with over 100,000 members and have been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe. CAMRA promotes good-quality real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer's champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry. See their website for more information:

** The Mayor Cllr Aislinn Lee’s charities are Sure-start St Albans and St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge (SAHWR). For further information see her webpage.