The best in food and hospitality services were recognised at an awards night this week - and our area’s businesses were picking up the prizes.
Horncastle’s The Old Stables walked away with the Tearooms of the Year gong at the Select Lincolnshire Food, Drink and Hospitality awards 2015, while The Sebastopol Inn in Minting was Highly Commended in the Pub of the Year category and R J Hirst Butchers of Woodhall Spa was Highly Commended in the Retailer of the Year and Producer of the Year categories.
And on the same night The Sebastopol Inn won the Lincolnshire Life Taste of Excellence Best Pub Food Award and Horncastle’s The Magpies won the Taste of Excellence Best Restaurant Award.
The Old Stables has now won eight awards since it opened three and a half years ago, but co-owner Jonathan Wilkinson-White said this prize was the one they had wanted.
“This was the one we really wanted because it was created by the tourist board and their expectations are high and they only give it to people who meet the set criteria. And this year they changed the criteria so we have had to prove our excellence,” he said.
Jonathan put the business’ continued success down to its use of top quality local suppliers and producers, a seasonal menu to reflect what is fresh and his team.
He added: “We have a homely atmosphere. It’s our staff that are key. They make The Old Stables. They make the time for people coming in, whether it’s for directions, where to buy something or they are just going through a hard time.”
The Old Stables was also commended by the judges for its community and charity work over the last year.
David Reed from The Sebastopol Inn said modern cooking techniques embraced by his son and head chef Nick had helped the pub win its prizes.
Innovations using a water-bath or Sous Vide technique to lock in flavour and roasting hay before soaking cream in it to give a nutty flavour have helped lead the pub to its third Select Lincolnshire and Taste of Excellence final in three years.
Andrew and Caroline Gilbert from The Magpies, which is celebrating its 11th anniversary, said: “We like to support local growers and producers and use all that’s great about Lincolnshire in our menus.”