The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards welcomed food and drink businesses from across the county to The Chester House Estate for the very first time at their inaugural Summer BBQ and Networking Event.
Northamptonshire County Council purchased the Chester House Estate site in 2004 and secured grant funding through working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop a sustainable visitor destination attraction with access for the public to learn about its history and heritage, as well as becoming the location to house countywide archaeological finds.
Deputy leader of North Northamptonshire Council, Councillor Helen Howell, said “Chester House Estate has undergone £14.5 million pounds of restoration to make it accessible to the public and we are delighted that the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are our very first guests.
"We aim to offer a diverse education programme, preserve our 10,000 years of history as a visitor attraction and hope to be able to grow local business, local food and tourism with our café and artisan shop stocking goods from across the county and Made in Northamptonshire will be big partners for us."
Chester House Estate is a nationally significant heritage site, being one of the few places in the country which can demonstrate over 10,000 years of human activity. One of the aims of the visitor attraction is to establish, promote and grow local business, produce and tourism, making it an ideal venue to host Northamptonshire based Food and Drink business owners.
Awards founder, Rachel Mallows MBE DL, said: “What a flagship venue to host our Summer BBQ event. The long-awaited opening of this historical site is upon us and I’m thrilled that the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards were able to host this event at Chester House Estate prior to the formal opening next month.
"Thank you to everyone who came along and supported us; awards sponsors, finalists, winners and guests. You are all the fabric of what makes Northamptonshire’s food and drink scene so exciting and fresh."
New awards patrons, Tom and Tina Warner of Warner’s Distillery, spoke about their involvement with the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drinks Awards.
Tina said: “Northamptonshire is the beating heart of our business, we want to remain authentic and put people and the planet above profit."
Tom added: “We owe our success to the county, a great place to do business from and travel to and from. We are thrilled to be here today and support other local food and drinks businesses in our role as awards patrons”.
Tom and Tina Warner went on to announce the finalists in the following three eatery categories: Independent Café / Tearoom of the Year, Booker Dining Venue of the Year and World Cuisine Restaurant of the Year.
The finalists are as follows:
Independent Café / Tearoom of the Year finalists:
◾ The Apothocoffee shop, Earls Barton
◾ New Lodge Far, Bulwick
◾ The Watermill Tearooms, Ringstead
◾ The Grain Store Coffeehouse, Woodford
◾ Tens Hand Café Bar, Towcester
◾ The Good Loaf, Northampton
Booker Dining Venue of the Year finalists:
◾ Murray’s at Whittlebury
◾ The Falcon, Castle Ashby
◾ The Palmichael Restaurant, Burton Latimer
◾ The Pig and Waffle, Grafton Underwood
◾ The Red Lion, Cranford
◾ The Tollemache Arms, Harrington
◾ The Folly Inn, Towcester
World Cuisine Restaurant of the Year finalists:
◾ June Plum, Wellingborough
◾ Saffron, Northampton
◾ The Exotic Dining, Kettering
◾ Tamarind, Northampton
The achievement and successes of the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drinks finalists will be celebrated at the Awards ceremony and dinner due to be held on October 20 2021 at the Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton.
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