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Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2013 - The Finalists

PUBLISHED: 13:38 22 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:54 01 November 2013

Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2013

Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2013

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Over the last few months, Surrey Life readers have been busy voting for their favourite Surrey food and drink establishments and people. Here we bring you the select few who will be anxiously anticipating our awards luncheon at Foxhills on Thursday October 31...

SURREY LIFE FOOD & DRINK AWARDS 2013

Sponsored by Ashtead Hospital

In association with Foxhills

***

CHEF OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Brooklands Hotel

Ben Piette @ London House

134 High Street, Old Woking GU22 9JN

Tel: 01483 750610

“For me, just being nominated is a great achievement,” says Ben. “I would love to win, but if I don’t, even getting this far knowing customers/readers have gone out of their way to vote for me is very flattering. I think I have been chosen as a finalist because people like what we do at the restaurant. We are also keen to support local businesses and schools, and use local produce if the quality is there. With the food, people like my creativity, the individuality I bring to the menu and the fact that most of my dishes have a story to tell. Thank you!”

Kristy and Fernando Stovell @ Stovells

125 Windsor Road, Chobham GU24 8QS

Tel: 01276 858000

“We are very proud, overwhelmed and honoured to be up against such a high calibre of chefs for this award; it really means a lot,” says Fernando. “Our guests have been loyal and very supportive from day one towards our ‘dream’. Kristy, the Stovell team and I are very grateful. The recognition given by your readers is very important to us. This makes us hungrier, aspire to perfection and always think ahead bringing new techniques, ideas, produce and theatre to the table.”

Mark Harrison @ Fleurie

11 Wharf Street, Godalming GU7 1NN

Tel: 01483 429969

“I feel incredibly honoured to have been nominated and feel strongly that this is a reflection of the entire team at Fleurie,” says Mark. “We are a young business and to have recognition so early on by the people who dine with us is both touching and rewarding. When Jenny and I created Fleurie, it was our vision to create a ‘perfect evening out’ and engaging with our customers has always been very important. I’ve tried to put a modern twist on traditional French dishes, with a healthier approach that does not compromise on taste.”

***

BEST FARM SHOP

Sponsored by NFU Mutual

Crockford Bridge Farm Shop

New Haw Road, Addlestone KT15 2BU

Tel: 01932 852630

“We are thrilled to be one of the finalists,” says owner Caroline Smith. “Our manageress retired in March, so it’s even more special to know that myself, a tiny core team and lots of help from students has got us this far. Due to our unusual location (surrounded by five supermarkets) we make a huge effort to offer a unique selection of our own, local produce, unusual gourmet foods and traceable free-range meat. My husband is a fifth generation farmer and, though I might be biased, is famous for growing the best strawberries and raspberries in the area!”

Fanny’s Farm Shop

Markedge Lane, Merstham RH1 3AW

Tel: 01737 554444

“We are over the moon to be nominated for this award and it feels like a great pat on the back for the whole team,” says owner Fanny Maiklem. “We all work so hard but it’s a lifestyle we want. It’s lovely to get recognition for the ethos behind the business. We are a unique farm that has been established for 34 years and we have a very good relationship with our customers. They are the backbone of the business. The shop has a family orientated feel and we find even men enjoy coming here to shop instead of supermarkets, as they can ask us for help.”

Priory Farm Shop

Sandy Lane, Redhill RH1 4EJ

Tel: 01737 822603

“We are thrilled to have been considered for this award and to make it to the final is fantastic,” says manager Will Edwards. “The staff have worked incredibly hard to make it the place it is today, and it is so nice to feel rewarded for their work. Over the last couple of years, we have improved the farm shop by stocking a greater range of products and to offer a better shopping experience. We have always received great feedback and we pride ourselves on our customer service, so we hope this makes our customers feel looked after.”

***

TEA/COFFEE SHOP OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by The Great Big Event Company

Glutton & Glee

6 Tunsgate, Guildford GU1 3QT

Tel: 01483 452934

“We are so very proud to be nominated for this award,” says owner Julia Bailey. “We opened in Guildford two-and-a-half years ago with the intention of turning people’s heads and making our mark on the independent café scene. This nomination really does endorse our achievement. We are totally honoured to be shortlisted and to be alongside two other fabulous cafés. Our mission is to provide high quality, home-made food with a friendly service at value for money. Ranging from our gourmet coffee and tea to our home-made cakes, quiches and renowned breakfasts, I feel our customers really appreciate and love what we do!”

Pinnock’s Coffee House

High Street, Ripley GU23 6AF

Tel: 01483 222419

“Setting up Pinnock’s Coffee House was a lifelong dream,” say owners Andy Shaw and Russell James. “Our aim was to provide a space that was relaxing, comfortable and friendly. To be nominated for an award is completely humbling and it’s such an amazing feeling, that we are both still in shock. We can’t thank people enough for voting for us and we hope we can continue to keep providing the best service. I’m guessing it’s Andy’s white chocolate chip and fresh raspberry brownies? In all seriousness, we hope that we have created an environment where people can meet, chat, have good, affordable food and try some of our wide range of coffees.”

Tillings

55 Station Road Gomshall GU5 9NP

Tel: 01483 202214

“We feel rewarded just to be nominated,” says owner Jane Radford. “Like many independent cafés we work hard to make our customers happy, so this is like a big ‘thank you’ of recognition in return. I would like to think our customers have voted for us because they know we are always the same whenever they visit. Although sometimes we might be more manic than others, the food and welcome are always consistently good. We like to think that we offer a home from home for everyone who visits, whether they’ve been walking, riding and cycling in the Surrey Hills nearby or just fancy a relaxing afternoon tea.”

***

FOOD & DRINK PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by The Art Agency

Hogs Back Brewery

The Street, Tongham GU10 1DE

Tel: 01252 783000

“Clearly we are absolutely delighted, especially since it is our 21st birthday year,” says head of sales David Patterson. “To still be seen as one of the best after such a long period, and in some very trying times, is hugely gratifying. Having already been awarded within the beer industry, to be further recognised across a suite of complementary businesses, is a significant mark of respect for which we are enormously grateful. We strive to be the best at everything that we do; and this past year in particular, we have again raised our game. We are hugely proud of being a five-star attraction in Surrey.”

Jane’s Cakes

Witley

Tel: 01428 683824

“I am very surprised yet excited to be one of the finalists, as I have no idea who has voted for me,” says owner Jane Cookman. “The business has been running for 11 or so years and it focuses on private catering and Christmas cakes. It’s a small business that proudly offers a bespoke, individual, personal service and is something that is really important to me. I don’t believe in advertising, all of my customers come through recommendations, and there are a lot of repeat customers. I just want to say a massive thank you to all those who voted for me, it’s really much appreciated.”

Norbury Blue

Norbury Park Farm, Mickleham RH5 6DN

Tel: 07799 231402

“We are obviously delighted to be nominated for the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards,” says co-owner Neil Allam. “As you can imagine, it means an awful amount to Michaela and me for Norbury Blue to get this sort of recognition. We think our customers and your readers voted for us because we have a really good product for sale. We are always ready to help people select the right choice and it’s not just about our own products either but recommending other excellent producers. It’s been an uphill struggle and we are finally getting the recognition we deserve, so thank you!”

***

PUB OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Yorkstone Supplies

The Jolly Farmers

Reigate Road, Buckland RH3 7BG

Tel: 01737 221 355

“It feels brilliant!” says owner Paula Briscoe. “We couldn’t ask for better recognition within the community. Being nominated by your customers independently is a real honour to us. I think our customers understand that we strive to support as many other businesses and suppliers as possible, through our menu, our deli and even any external work. Every penny our customers spend with us has positive benefits around the area, and adds to the value of the fabric of the community, and I think people are really recognising that.”

The Queen’s Head

13 High Street, Nutfield RH1 4HH

Tel: 01737 823619

“This nomination shows that we are doing something right and we are bringing something positive back into the community,” says landlord Paul Mackay. “It’s been a hard first year, as the pub didn’t have a good reputation before, but now people are more supportive of their local pub and they are happy with the new changes we have made. We are a family orientated pub that is open all day and we make sure our food is fresh and high quality. My wife and I are always working together and we make sure we are involved at all times. A big thank you!”

The Roe Deer

50 Croydon Road Reigate RH2 0NH

Tel: 07780 604517

“I am very excited that we have been nominated; it is very rewarding that people are enjoying what we do,” says landlady Marie-Therese Dawes. “The Roe Deer has been a bit of a dream come true for me, so it feels very special. We have over 80 wines to choose from and we operate a corkage pricing system, designed to make an evening in the pub drinking great wine more affordable. We have selected wines from small producers, to offer the opportunity to get something a little different, and there are some great stories behind the wine on our shelves.”

***

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by The Good Time Guide

Kinghams

Gomshall Lane, Shere GU5 9HE

Tel: 01483 202168

“We are very honoured to be nominated for this award, especially as this year we have celebrated 20 years,” says owner Paul Baker. “It feels as though all the years of hard work, striving to maintain the quality, presentation and friendly service, is receiving recognition. It is very much a team effort and everyone at Kinghams is very proud to be a part of this award. I use local produce from Surrey suppliers and we offer a high standard of modern English cooking. Customers enjoy coming to us because we combine a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with good quality food. We’re touched that our customers have voted for us!”

Stovells

125 Windsor Road, Chobham GU24 8QS

Tel: 01276 858000

“We are so happy to be nominated for two awards, and we are very overwhelmed and proud of the whole team,” say owners Kristy and Fernando Stovell. “This is a great recognition for our many years involved in the industry. The cumulative years of experience of the entire team still only just about comes to the age of the building we now welcome our customers to! We are proud to give Chobham and Surrey, our neighbours and the beautiful property something in return. We are honoured to have built such a great rapport with our patrons and the local community. Stovells has always aspired to be like a home away from home.”

Carlo’s Trattoria

Shere Road, near Guildford GU4 8SE

Tel: 01483 224180

“We’re really proud and honoured to have been shortlisted for best restaurant, and would firstly like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us,” say owners Carlos and Bonnie Crosta. “We’re very lucky to have some fantastic customers, many of whom have become great friends along the way. But our biggest thanks and recognition has to go to our long-standing team of staff because their loyalty and commitment to the restaurant offers our customers, both new and old, a personal touch. Our underlying belief has never changed and that’s to offer good, genuine Italian food at an honest price. Grazie mille!”

***

BEST FARMERS’ MARKET

Sponsored by Glutton and Glee

Surbiton Farmers’ Market

Maple Road, Surbiton

Web: surbitonfarmersmarket.co.uk

“Queen of the Suburbs is often a byword for suburban living,” says co-ordinator Sarah Taylor. “But this unique community initiative has brought the countryside into the town. On the third Saturday of each month, 26 producers offer a wonderful selection of seasonal produce and speciality foods not seen on the High Street, from artisan breads to handmade cheeses. Maple Road Farmers’ Market is a community interest company run by and for the community by volunteers. Together, we’ve helped raise more than £30,000 for local causes. It would mean a lot if we won this award!”

Woking Farmers’ Market

Mercia Walk, Woking

Tel: 01483 743208

“We are delighted and very pleased to be nominated for this award, as this period has been a difficult time for us because the town centre redevelopment meant the market had to close for a while,” says co-ordinator Ian Young. “We are still supported by our regular stallholders, newcomers and, in addition, by our loyal customers who continued to support us after the break. I think we have been chosen as a finalist as we provide a diverse product list, from chilli plants to olives, all in between conducive shopping surroundings, with stallholders bringing home produce to sell at good prices.”

Farnham Farmers’ Market

Central Car Park, Farnham

Tel: 01252 712667

“I was delighted to hear that Farnham Farmers’ Market has been nominated for this award,” says Farnham town councillor Jill Hargreaves. “The market is very popular and it is good to see it receiving recognition, especially as it has been nominated by the people who visit and shop at the market. The Farnham Farmers’ Market has been running since 2001 and has a following of regular and loyal supporters. Enthusiasm for the market is just as great today as it was 12 years ago. We have an excellent range of stalls, easy access for pushchairs and wheelchairs and near by free parking. Thank you!”

***

INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR

The Vineking

4 West Road, Reigate RH2 7JT 
Tel: 01737 233 553

28 Church Street, Reigate RH2 0AN 
Tel: 01737 221 311

59 Queens Road, Weybridge KT13 9UQ 
Tel: 01932 853 466

“We are surprised and very pleased,” says store manager David Waine. “Being a finalist was a complete shock to us. Just to be nominated, as one of the best three independent retailers in our sector, is absolutely brilliant! Our customers are always our priority, as we try and make sure that they have the best shopping experience possible. We offer friendly, knowledgeable advice on their choice of wine, as well as suggestions of what kind of food matches it.”

Godalming Food Company

99 High Street, Godalming GU7 1AQ

Tel: 01483 239891

“We’re delighted that our customers have nominated us for this award, what a great way to celebrate the end of our first year,” says owner Ed Simpson. “The Godalming and Surrey foodie scene has always inspired us, and it’s fantastic to know that we are contributing to that. We have a passion for the best local and regional produce; it really is what we love, and it’s what our customers love. Whether we’re serving cheese, filling hampers, or recommending wine, our personal customer service and product knowledge sets us apart, both in-store and online. Do pop in; we’re always up for a foodie natter with our customers!”

* Unfortunately, the final contender for Independent Retailer of the Year has been forced to pull out of the running for this award at the last minute due to personal reasons.

***

BEST LOCAL MENU

Sponsored by Surrey Hills Enterprises

The Jolly Farmers

Reigate Road, Buckland RH3 7BG

Tel: 01737 221 355

“It feels terrific,” say owners Jon and Paula Briscoe. “It’s wonderful to feel what we set out to create as a business model, which was based around local purchasing, has been successful and appreciated by the community. We’re accepting this nomination on behalf of all the suppliers we support as this gives them all great credibility, as well as the Jolly Farmers, and we really hope it will encourage more suppliers to join us. Our community and our customers understand the importance of local produce and that supporting it adds value to the wider economic community.”

The Drummond Arms

The Street, Albury GU5 9AG

Tel: 01483 202039

“I am overall pretty humbled as it shows all our hard work at The Drummond Arms is paying off,” says manager Jay Shubrati. “It’s definitely not the end of the line for us, it’s just the beginning. We don’t go out of our way to receive an accolade but it’s fantastic to be nominated and it would be amazing to win this award. We are not trying to re-invent the wheel with the type of menu we have, we just like to keep the food simple but done well. This is a great credit to all of the team and I can’t take all the glory. Thanks to everyone who voted for us and we hope to see you in Albury soon!”

Lythe Hill Hotel

Petworth Road, Haslemere GU27 3BQ

Tel: 01428 651251

“We are thrilled to have been nominated for this award,” says manager Simon Drake. “The local area will remember the restaurant in the glory days, as the place to eat. Sadly, due to a number of factors, the reputation declined and the clientele that had been loyal for so long stopped coming. In the past 12 months, however, since I 
joined the hotel, along with a fully new kitchen team, we have driven the standards back towards what was always expected here. So to be nominated for this award really shows that our hard work is properly paying off and I, for one, am thankful for that.”

***

SURREY LIFE FOOD & DRINK HERO

Sponsored by Tillings Cafe

In the constantly changing world of the Surrey food and drink industry, the winner of this very special award will have made a lasting contribution to our area. Like a top chef, we at Surrey Life like to ensure that there are a few surprises along the way and our Food & Drink Hero will be revealed at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards luncheon. Watch this space...

***

The Panel

Our finalists were selected from the most voted for Surrey Life readers’ favourites by an expert panel. Those casting their eyes across the entries were…

Matthew Williams

Assistant editor at Surrey Life 
and food and drink writer

Jane Garrett

Freelance journalist with a 
special interest in Surrey’s 
rural community

Louise Johncox

Surrey Life’s On the Tea Shop 
Trail columnist and avid foodie

Kenneth Bare

Event organiser and director of Surrey Hills Enterprises

Gareth Snow

Surrey Life advertisement manager

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