2017 Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards - the shortlists
PUBLISHED: 09:07 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:49 18 October 2017
We reveal the shining stars of the hospitality industry who will be vying for trophies at this year's Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards
A drum roll, please, as we reveal this year’s star performers in the north west’s hospitality industry – the men and women who ensure Lancashire and the Lake District remain pace-setters when it comes to great produce brilliantly prepared and expertly served.
The Lancashire Life and Lake District Life Food & Drink Awards shortlist is always eagerly awaited in the run-up to the region’s premier night for the hospitality industry.
This is an evening of high drama and great fun, an opportunity to salute the hugely talented chefs, hoteliers and pub landlords along with the food producers and retailers who contribute so much to the region’s economy. Tens of thousands of jobs hinge on their continued success.
It is our aim each year to throw a spotlight on the talent we have in the north west as well as raise funds for Hospitality Action, the charity which helps people from the industry who have fallen on hard times.
Last year’s event was particularly exciting as it formed part of a primetime TV documentary. This year’s awards will be just as special as it’s also the 70th birthday of Lancashire Life.As well as our winners, on the night we’ll also name our Chef of the Year, the 2017 Food Hero and our award for oustanding customer service.
We are delighted to be back at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa on Monday, October 16, for this black tie event. Our very capable host will be TV presenter Andy Crane.
We hope to see you there!
THE 2017 SHORTLIST
LANCASHIRE LIFE RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY STEPHENSONS
Breda Murphy Restaurant @Breda_Murphy
Now with a smart new restaurant, Breda has built up a phenomenal reputation and collected a hatful of awards for her brand of modern British and Irish cuisine.
41 Station Rd, Whalley, Clitheroe, BB7 9RH www.bredamurphy.co.uk
Moor Hall, Aughton @restmoorhall
The highly talented chef patron, Mark Birchall, has made a real impact on the county’s dining scene in a stunning Grade II listed building that dates back to the 13th century.
Prescot Rd, Aughton, Ormskirk, L39 6RT moorhall.com
The Millstone at Mellor @MillstoneMellor
All change at the award-winning inn with a major refurbishment programme creating a beautiful new dining area and Miguel Armas, once deputy to Anson Bolton, taking over in the kitchen.
Church Lane, Mellor, Blackburn BB2 7JR www.thwaites.co.uk/hotels-and-inns/inns/millstone-at-mellor
LANCASHIRE LIFE DINING PUB OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY BOWKER
Bayhorse Inn, Ellel @bayhorseinn
One of last year’s finalists, chef patron Craig Wilkinson continues to impress diners across the region with food that is all about provenance, traceability and great flavour.
Bay Horse Bridge, Ellel, Lancaster, LA2 0HR www.bayhorseinn.com
Hearth of Ram @hearthoftheram
This characterful 200-year-old building was transformed by owners Euan and Dena Watkins whose stylish interior design is almost as impressive as the imaginative modern British cuisine which attracted a Bib Gourmand.
13 Peel Brow, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 0AA hearthoftheram.com
The Butlers Arms, Pleasington @ButlersArms
Michael Hales, the chef patron, took this rather run-down pub and turned it into a beautifully decorated space with tweed furnishings. But the food is what brings people back – especially the seafood.
Victoria Rd, Pleasington, Blackburn BB2 5JH thebutlersarmspleasington.co.uk
LANCASHIRE LIFE INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY BUTLERS CHEESE
D. Byrne & Co @dbyrnefinewines
The Hogwarts of wine merchants. Their multi-award winning business is 130 years old and based in an extraordinary shop with towering shelves and an underground cellar network packed with great wines.
Victoria Buildings, 12 King St, Clitheroe BB7 2EP https://dbyrne-finewines.co.uk
Finch Bakery @finch_bakery
Not just cupcakes but cakes in jars have people coming from far and wide to join queues for the goodies in this recently established business run by passionate twin sisters.
28A Queen St, Great Harwood, Blackburn BB6 7QQ www.facebook.com/finchbakery
Taylor’s Farm Shop @TaylorsFarmLath
From the foot and mouth crisis, this business emerged thanks to one enterprising farming family who opened a shop in one of their barns. It’s now one of the region’s top outlets selling food from across Lancashire.
Hall Ln, Lathom L40 5UW www.taylorsfarmshop.co.uk
LAKE DISTRICT DINING EXCELLENCE OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY WHITEHOUSE CROCKERY
Gilpin Spice @gilpinhotel
If the Gilpin and head chef Hrishikesh Desai were the success stories of 2015, then this natural extension is creating just as much excitement this year taking traditional Lakeland produce and giving it an Eastern twist.
Crook Rd Windermere LA233NE gilpinspice.co.uk
Rothay Manor @rothaymanor
An energetic young couple took over the old Lakeland hotel and brought in Brandon Shepherd as the head chef. Within a couple of months they were picking up accolades for disches like Ambleside hogget and turbot with nettle gazpacho.
Rothay Bridge, Ambleside LA22 0EH rothaymanor.co.uk
The Punchbowl Inn @PunchbowlInn
Many who eat out regularly in the region will know about this lovely old inn. It has a brilliant reputation for classic food using modern techniques in upmarket surrounding that are sophisticated yet still feel like a pub.
Crosthwaite, Lyth Valley LA8 8HR www.the-punchbowl.co.uk
LANCASHIRE LIFE TEAROOM/CAFE OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY HOSPITALITY ACTION
Apple Store Café @wyresdalepark
Established by the owners of the Wyresdale Estate, this quirky café occupies the glasshouse and outbuildings in the old walled garden. It is hugely popular and the cakes - freshly baked by the ‘Lady of the Manor’ – have visitors coming back for more.
Snowhill Ln, Scorton, Near Preston, PR3 1BA. www.wyresdalepark.co.uk/cafe
Café Northcote at The Cathedral @CafeNorthcote
A key part of Blackburn’s Cathedral Quarter revival, top chef Nigel Haworth, of Northcote fame, has put together a delicious menu and remained true to his ethos of maintaining close ties with local producers and suppliers.
Cathedral Square, Blackburn BB1 1FB www.cafenorthcote.com
Poppins Tearooms @PoppinsTearooms
Every inch a traditional Edwardian tearoom with imaginative menus including ‘Uncle Albert’s Splendid Tea.’ The emphasis is on fun, great ingredients and delicious flavours. No wonder it gets rave reviews.
142 Lee Lane, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7AF https://www.facebook.com/PoppinsTearooms
CITY RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY PERFECT RECRUITMENT
Australasia, Manchester @AustralasiaMcr
Taking diners on a grand tour of the Pacific Rim, this restaurant combines modern Australian cuisine with British cooking methods and a eclectic blend of Indonesian andd south east Asian influences. It’s enhanced by a strong Japanese influence.
The Avenue, Manchester M3 3AP australasia.uk.com
Salt House Tapas, Liverpool @salthousetapas
Head Chef Martin Renshaw is a passionate chef who has wosk around the world, from Sydney Harbour to the French Alps. He’s now in Liverpool and, along with a talented team of colleagues, is creating tapas without geographic or national boundaries.
1 Hanover St, Liverpool L1 3DW www.salthousetapas.co.uk
Tattu, Manchester @TattuRestaurant
Providing contemporary Chinese cuisine in outstanding surroundings, head chef Clifton Muil fuses traditional Asian flavours with extraordinary presentation skills for what is described as ‘a sensory journey from East to West.’
Hardman Square, Gartside Street, Manchester, M3 3EB tattu.co.uk/manchester
LANCASHIRE LIFE FOOD OR DRINK PRODUCT OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY KENDAL MINT LIQUER
LouLou’s Meringues @LouLousMeringue
Handmade clouds of delicious, delicate meringue using locally sourced free range eggs, including some from their flock in the Ribble Valley. Meringue kisses are described a as ‘two bit tastes of heaven’ and no wonder – they are filled with marshmallow.
Chew Mill Farm, Elker Lane, Billington Whalley, BB7 9HZ www.loulousmeringues.com
Pork & Blackstick Blue cheese sausages
It’s a combination that really shouldn’t work, but it does thanks to the skills of the team at this sausage shop famous for the almost infinite variety of bangers on offer.
Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop 13 Castle St, Clitheroe BB7 2BT www.cowmans.co.uk
Wignall’s Yallo @wignallsyallo
Their 100 per cent cold pressed rapeseed oil is gaining more fans by the day. But this is more than a story about local produce – the Wignalls took a rundown farm and tranformed it by reducing chemicals and boosting sustainability.
Standish Hall Farm, Beech Walk, Off Green Lane, Standish, WN6 0YQ. wignallsfarm.com/about-yallo
LANCASHIRE LIFE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY ROBINSONS WINES
Forest, Fence @ForestFence
Another rescue by the Seafood Pub Company. This old country inn is now a modern brasserie and bar serving Mediterranean inspired dishes in a relaxed and contemporary setting with great décor of bleached oaks and muted tones.
Cuckstool Ln, Fence, Burnley BB12 9PA seafoodpubcompany.com/venue-promotions/forest-fence
One88 Bar and Kitchen, Whitefield @one88kitchen
Well-known local chef David Gale has brought an excellent addition to the increasingly popular local fine dining scene, with what he calls casual fine. Expect brilliant brunchs, lunches and dinners in relaxed surroundings with finely crafted cocktails.
188 Bury New Rd, Whitefield, M45 6QF one88whitefield.co.uk
The New Inn, Carnforth @NewInnYealandC
This historic pub was closed for several years while the locals struggled to raise cash to re-open it. Businessman Barry Robinson rode to the rescue and now, after a beautiful restoration job, it is serving some excellent pub classics.
Yealand Rd, Yealand Conyers, Carnforth, LA5 9SJ www.newinnyealand.com
LANCASHIRE LIFE FAMILY DINING OF THE YEAR SPONSORED MRS DOWSONS
Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom @EagleChildRammy
Glen Duckett and his team created this family dining pub and it just keeps getting better - especially after a £500,000 revamp which saw the creation of a kid-friendly garden. And whatever your age, you are going to love the dishes from Alex Shaw’s kitchen.
3, Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, BL0 0DL eagle-and-child.com
Mia Italia @Miaitaliapizza
Children can make their own pizzas at this chairming little Italian run by David and Katy Waddington. The rest of the pizzas are made by hand from scratch by David and his team – so good they won a national award.
Hawthorne House, Bye-Pass Rd, Bolton-le-Sands, LA5 8JD www.miaitalia.co.uk
The Barn at Scorton @thebarnscorton
Founded by a family with farming roots, success means The Barn has grown and grown. From a café with garden centre it has become a restaurant with seating for 100 with the emphasis on laid-back, good quality family dining.
The Square, Scorton, PR3 1AU www.plantsandgifts.co.uk/restaurant.php
Follow the #LLFoodAwards hashtag for the latest news on the event
Join us on the big night
This year’s Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards takes place at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, Blackburn, for an evening of drinks and dining excellence on Monday, October 16th. The elegant black tie event celebrates the expertise of hoteliers, chefs, restaurateurs, pub landlords, food producers and their staff.
For further details please email Linda Chase at email@example.com. Tickets are £75 each + vat. The price includes a drinks reception, a four-course dinner and wine.
Lancashire Life readers wishing to stay at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel on the evening of the 16th can take advantage of a preferred room rate of £80 bed and breakfast based on single occupancy and £90 bed and breakfast based on double occupancy. Please call 01254 303407 and quote ‘Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards’.