Food and Drink Festival finalists

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News release: 11 September 2017

Forty finalists for the prestigious St Albans Food and Drink Festival awards have been chosen by a public vote.

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Forty finalists for the prestigious St Albans Food and Drink Festival awards have been chosen by a public vote.

They will compete for 13 coveted titles including best restaurant for a special occasion, best pub and best takeaway.

More than 2,000 people took part in the online ballot after some 350 businesses and venues were nominated for the awards. 

The top three in each category have now been put forward to the final stage with the voting having closed.  In one category where the voting was very close - the best food and drink shop – there are four finalists.

Festival Steering Group judges, including food and drink experts, will now make surprise visits to the finalists in the next few weeks to check them out.

Food hygiene ratings, customer service and the quality of the facilities are among the attributes that will be evaluated.

The 13 winners will then be selected and announced at a glittering Festival Awards Dinner at Sopwell House Hotel on Monday 2 October. 

Now in its tenth year, the Festival is organised by St Albans City and District Council with the help of a steering group.

There is a 14th title, new for this year, The Green Triangle Award for Sustainability. To give recognition to businesses that are committed to improving the environment. 

The Green Triangle is a partnership of organisations that aims to establish Hertfordshire as a centre of excellence for green technology.

A representative from the organisation and the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community, Councillor Beric Read, will judge this category.

The Festival kicks off with the CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival at the Alban Arena on Wednesday 27 to Saturday 30 September.

Among the other highlights is the “Street Feastival” on Sunday 1 October when the City Centre is taken over by scores of food and drink stalls.

The Festival will close with Sustainable Saturday on 7 October. This will highlight issues such as how to grow food and the impact the food we eat has on the environment. 

A website detailing the line-up of events can be found here: www.enjoystalbans/foodanddrink.

Cllr Read said: “These awards are a great way of giving recognition to our booming food and drink industry and the competition gets more intense each year. 

“The number of food and drink businesses in the District continues to grow while the quality and diversity is quite astonishing. 

“The Festival gives them an opportunity to showcase what they offer and there are some very exciting events in the programme. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck and urge those that did not make the short list to try again next year.” 

The finalists (from St Albans unless otherwise stated) are: 

Best Restaurant for a Special Occasion:
Dylans The Kings Arms;
Prime; 
Thompson St Albans.

Best Restaurant for Everyday Dining:
Godfreys, Harpenden;
Per Tutti;    
The Great Northern. 

Best Pub:
Dylans The Kings Arms; 
The Great Northern;
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.  

Best Bar:
Dylans The Kings Arms; 
Suckerpunch;         
The Snug.

Best Café:
George Street Canteen;
The Fleetville Larder;        
The Pudding Stop.  

Best Local Producer:
Carpenters Nursery, Sandridge; 
Farr Brew, Wheathampstead;     
Hedges Farm Shop.

Best Food & Drink Shop:
Buongiorno Italia;   
Farr Brewery;    
Fleetville Larder;
Parker & Vine. 

Best Market Stall:
Cheese Wheeler;
Farr Brew;    
Peddling Pizza.       

Best Takeaway:
Godfrey's;
Hatch.
The Pudding Stop;  

Best Place to Do Business;
Dylans The Kings Arms;   
The Beech House;   
The Waffle House.

Most Family Friendly:
George Street Canteen; 
The Waffle House;
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.

Best Newcomer:
Hatch on the Hill;    
Peddling Pizza;
The Fleetville Larder.        

Kate D’Arcy Award for Customer Service:      
Sean Hughes, Dylans The Kings Arms;       
Ed Bevin, Fleetville Larder;        
Jonny Shepherd, Pudding Stop.

Councillor contact:
Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community for St Albans City and District Council. 
Tel: 07956 220264. Email: Cllr.B.Read@stalbans.gov.uk

Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City & District Council 
Tel: 01727 296130