Nominations are now open for Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2018

PUBLISHED: 13:10 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:50 16 May 2018

2018 Food & Drink Awards have launched!

2018 Food & Drink Awards have launched!


The county’s finest food and drink awards is back and open for nominations. It’s your chance, whether business or customer, to shout about the best

Nominations are now open for the Hertfordshire Life Food and Drink Awards 2018 – a celebration of all that’s great about our local food and drink industry, and giving valuable recognition to a wide range of eateries, producers, growers, suppliers and food and drink outlets across the county.

To choose the very best in each of our categories we are looking to you, our readers, to nominate who you think deserves to win. So if you have had a special meal in a Herts restaurant, been impressed with the produce and service at a farm shop or café, love your local pub or have a favourite food or drink that is produced in the county, then let us know. And if you want to shout about your great business then you can do that too.

Compere Jonny Nelson with 2018 Pub of the Year winners, The Golden Fleece in BraughingCompere Jonny Nelson with 2018 Pub of the Year winners, The Golden Fleece in Braughing

There are 12 award categories, covering the broad range of the food and drink industry, and remember, if your favourite isn’t nominated, it can’t win!

Finalists will be selected from the nominations by a panel of independent expert judges, who will visit all those shortlisted. The winners will be announced at a fabulous awards ceremony at Henry Moore Studios and Gardens in Perry Green in September.

Last year's venue, the Old Palace at Hatfield HouseLast year's venue, the Old Palace at Hatfield House

Last year’s Hatfield House event was attended by more than 130 people from the cream of the county’s food and drink industry.

If you know a venue that deserves one of the awards, vote online at our dedicated website (you can scan the QR code on the right to go straight there), not forgetting to tell us why your nomination is so great. You can nominate as many venues and in as many categories as you like. The closing date for nominations is July 9.

Last year's awards at Hatfield HouseLast year's awards at Hatfield House

A launch event will take place at The Golden Fleece in Braughing on Monday May 14 from 4-6pm when businesses can meet the awards team and find out more about the awards. If you would like to come along, please email to book a place.

Nominees will be contacted by the team to supply additional information for use by the judges.

Speaking at the 2017 awards, Chef of the Year Chad Rahman of Chez Mumtaj in St Albans, said his award was ‘one of the highest achievements in my culinary career as a chef’, while Sarah Parker, owner of Brewery Tearooms in Walkern, which won both Best Independent Café/Tearoom and the Outstanding Customer Service Award, said, ‘Hertfordshire is a big county and there was a lot of competition for these much-coveted awards. It means so much to win’.

A video of last year’s awards can be viewed on the website,

CLICK HERE to nominate your Herts foodie favourites or enter yourself in one of 12 categories. Nominations close July 9.

Restaurant of the Year

The restaurant of the year will offer a fabulous dining experience, everything from ambience to the service and most importantly, the food. Are ingredients locally sourced? Is the drinks list local as well as international? Can staff tell you more about the food and drink if you ask? Whether it’s big or small, if it ranks high for fine dining, give it your vote.

Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year

Judges of this category will be looking for a café, garden centre, museum or farm affiliated venue that really meets the needs of its customers. Does it demonstrate attention to diners both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere, information and variety of menu?

Best Independent Retailer

Sponsored by Rolla Granola

The winner of this award will consistently show an expert knowledge and, like all our finalists, an unrivalled passion for their trade. It could be a deli, a wine or beer store, greengrocer, baker or something unique. They will likely support great local produce as well as from further afield.

Pub of the Year

Sponsored by Flagship Wines

Whether it’s the food, the drink, the good company or the strong role in the community (ideally, all of them) we want to find the best pubs in the county. Tell us why you love your favourite – it could be your local or one you are happy to travel miles to.

Outstanding Customer Service

Nothing makes a business stand out more than excellent customer service, no matter the size of the company. So if staff at a food and/or drink venue consistently give you a warm welcome, go the extra mile and make you feel at your ease, vote for them here.

Producer/Product of the Year

This award recognises local producers whose passion for Hertfordshire produce is at the heart of their business. It’s open to all producers who demonstrate a real passion for our county’s food and drink.

Family Dining Award

This is the place that never fails to keep the kids happy, without forgetting the parents. Do you know somewhere offering tasty, reasonably priced, nutritious children’s meals as well as facilities to keep the children entertained in a welcoming environment? Then tell us about it.

Chef of the Year

This award aims to recognise those chefs who show an exceptional awareness of produce and have the knowledge and expertise to use their ingredients to create sensational, seasonal menus – local sourcing is a bonus as always.

Newcomer of the Year

This award is open to businesses that have started a new venture in the food and/or drink industry in the past 18 months. We want to know what impact it has made on the local community, success so far and plans for the future.

Food & Drink Hero of the Year

Sponsored by The Golden Fleece

This person will have made a lasting contribution to the food and drink community. It could be a celebrity, a critic, a barman, waiter or farmer who goes that extra mile to make a difference in the food and drink industry in Hertfordshire.

Best Local Industry Supplier

This category aims to celebrate our local suppliers who play such a vital role in the food and drink community. The winner of this category can be an individual or company that consistently provides reliable, quality products to customers and is always looking for the opportunity to go further.

Service to the Community

Here we’re looking for food and/or drink-led initiatives that aim to inspire and educate local communities. Whether that’s cookery courses, brewery or farm tours, community allotments or imaginative charity schemes that add something special to the food and drinks scene in the county, we would love to see ideas that have really made a difference to others in Hertfordshire.

Latest from the Hertfordshire Life