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Who won the 2016 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards?

PUBLISHED: 15:47 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:47 19 July 2017

The 2016 Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards winners (Photos: Pete Gardner)

The 2016 Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards winners (Photos: Pete Gardner)


With voting open for the 2017 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, here we catch up with a selection of last year’s award winning foodies to find out what success has meant for them

Guests watch on at the black tie awards dinner at Foxhills (Photos: Andy Newbold) Guests watch on at the black tie awards dinner at Foxhills (Photos: Andy Newbold)

Originally published across Surrey Life magazines May and June 2017


Vote today!

Nominate your local foodie favourites online at foodawards.surreylife.co.uk

The businesses that receive the most public votes will then be visited by our judges

Closing date for nominations: Friday July 28

Black-tie awards night at Foxhills: Thursday September 21




Name: Lucy Letley

Role: marketing and events

What have you been up to since our last awards?

Shortly after the awards, we sold out of our popular Silent Pool Rosé, so we are really excited to release the new 2016 vintage this May. It’s our most popular wine, and I have no doubt this one won’t last long either! Thankfully, our Albury Estate sparklings kept us going through winter and we are really proud to see them on the wine lists of so many great pubs and restaurants; it’s fantastic to see local establishments supporting English wine.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

Visitors to the vineyard this summer will now be able to enjoy a glass of wine with English cheese and meat platters, and we are excited to be showcasing local producer Norbury Blue Cheese. Our patio area is a hidden gem in Surrey and I can’t think of a more beautiful place to sit and relax with a glass of wine and some cheese on a sunny Saturday afternoon. We also have some exciting events planned for this year – we teamed up with the Dabbling Duck for a Sparkling Afternoon Tea to celebrate English Wine Week, there will be an evening of Indian nibbles and wine tasting in July, and Opera on the Vineyard is set to return in August.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

We’re lucky to have fantastic foodie hangouts on our doorstep. You can often find us at The Hurtwood Inn, Peaslake; Kinghams, Shere; The Onslow Arms, West Clandon; Gomshall Mill; The Percy Arms, Chilworth; or Bel & The Dragon, Churt. We love the new restaurant at Beaverbrook. As a family-run vineyard welcoming kids, we are always on the lookout for places to take our little ones – The Duke of Cambridge at Tilford is a favourite.

• Albury Vineyard, Shere Road, Albury, Surrey GU5 9BW. Tel: 07768 863650. Web: alburyvineyard.com



Name: Simon Taylor

Role: head butcher/manager

What have you been up to since our last awards?

We have acquired a new premises, the Cowshed, behind our butcher’s shop. An ‘opening night’ was held where we hosted some of the best local chefs, including Steve Drake (Sorrel), Nick Sinclair (Emlyn at Box Hill), Dan Britten (The White Horse, Hascombe) and Matt Worswick (The Latymer at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot). This is a space where we host our workshops, which are continuing to prove popular as gifts and experience evenings. They are suitable for the public/customers and professional outlets for educational or team-building events. Here at Surrey Hills, we have also introduced a pastry line to include pies and en croutes.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

By the time the Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2017 come around, we hope to have the next chapter of Surrey Hills Butchers underway. Of which, I am afraid to say, details are top secret at the moment! We continue to supply some of the top restaurants in the Surrey area, and we are in talks with more at the moment. I’ve also signed up to some of the county’s biggest food festivals, including the Surrey County Show and Woking Food & Drink Festival.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

We recently experienced the 10-course taster menu at Matt Worswick at The Latymer, which was a real sensation. The Four Horseshoes in Chobham has a comfortable atmosphere with great food.

• Surrey Hills Butchers, Aberdeen House, High Street, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0JR. Tel: 01372 844890. Web: butcherscook.com



Name: Eric Guignard

Role: chef patron

What have you been up to since our last awards?

I’ve been in the Maldives working on my diving technique and am now certified to Advanced Open Water level! TFT-wise, I’ve opened the third of our patisserie-cafés, The French Tarte. This one is a little bit quirkier – I’ve named it ’Tarte in the Park’ and it’s inside the old pavilion at Victoria Recreation Ground, Surbiton.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

It’s very, very early days but I’m thinking about hosting some intimate supper club-style masterclasses, where a group of friends learn to cook a classic dish well with me in my kitchen.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

The Rose restaurant in Thames Ditton for a Sunday evening treat – and the dining room at The Bingham hotel in Richmond for lunch.

• The French Table, 85 Maple Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 4AW. Tel: 020 8399 2365. Web: thefrenchtable.co.uk



Names: Ian McCulloch and James Shelbourne

Roles: co-founders and directors

What have you been up to since our last awards?

This past year has been a great year for Silent Pool Distillers. Our flagship brand, Silent Pool Gin, is now available nationwide in Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Majestic Wine, Bookers and Odd Bins plus we are rolling out across Europe, USA and Asia. This meteoric success has allowed our team the opportunity to create yet more innovative Silent Pool products including: Silent Pool Mist liquid garnishes (originally created for the best cocktail bars in London, these are the perfect accompaniment to your G&T or favourite cocktail); Silent Pool Gin Infused Smoked Salmon (a collaboration with Coln Valley Smokehouse); and Albury Limited Release (seasonal gins that allow our distillers to experiment with new flavours and botanicals).

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We are about to treble in size with the conversion of a nearby hay barn and cow shed, converting them into a new distillery. Moving the main production of Silent Pool Gin here will free up our current still so that we have the ability to be creative and experiment making whiskey, liqueurs and other hand-crafted spirits. We recently sent our distilling team to Marksdorf, Germany to collect our new 1,800 litre bespoke copper still from Arnold Holstein, which will have a capacity of more than five times the current one!

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

We are spoiled for choice here in the Surrey Hills with fine establishments, such as The Onslow Arms in West Clandon, The Queen’s Head in East Clandon, The Drummond in Albury and The William Bray in Shere to name but a few. However, for a fantastic curry, you can’t beat Surrey Spice’s authentic Indian cuisine.

• Silent Pool Distillers, Shere Road, Albury, Surrey GU5 9BW. Tel: 01483 229136. Web: silentpooldistillers.com



Name: Will Edwards

Role: general manager

What have you been up to since our last awards?

Since the awards last year, the farm has been a hive of activity. We have been having work done behind the scenes, enlarging stock rooms and adding a new staff room and offices to make way for the next shop extension. We have had lots of new product ranges come in, including sparkling wines from Greyfriars Vineyard in Puttenham and beers from Oxted Brewery to name a few. We are busy planning our next food festivals too.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

At the end of February we had planning permission granted for the next shop extension – this will be the third since 2014. If all goes well, we hope to start work at the beginning of 2018 and complete phase one by June. This will allow us to grow all the departments of the shop, but special attention will be paid to the deli, alcohol, fruit and vegetables. Phase two will then see a completely new butchery area built, which will allow for larger counters and bigger display fridges. The new butchery will be totally open plan, so you will able to watch us making sausages and burgers, preparing joints and everything else we do.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

Last summer I discovered Botley Hill Farmhouse near Warlingham. I hadn’t been for years but I was passing and dropped in for lunch, and have since returned many times. The pub has a really friendly atmosphere and lots of excellent local food. Being able to sit out in the garden with the views over the countryside is a real bonus.

Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4EJ. Tel: 01737 823304. Web: prioryfarm.co.uk



Name: Riette Thomas

Role: festival manager

What have you been up to since our last awards?

Winning the award for the second time running was another great achievement and we’re still chuffed to bits with the accolades. Year-on-year we receive an uplift in visitor and trader feedback, contact from celebrity chefs wishing to demonstrate and interest from an array of producers. This year, interested trader sign ups have twice exceeded the number of available stalls, well before the application process has opened! With these positive accomplishments under out belt, we’re busy working towards delivering another successful event, which will showcase our festival as the best food event in Surrey. We’d love to score a hat-trick!

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We’re working closely with key partners such as Tante Marie, Woking Market Company, WWF-UK, The Lightbox, New Victoria Theatre and The Clink Charity, to name a few, to offer increased festival activities and provide further food¬related learning opportunities for visitors. High priorities for us are to further encourage health eating and a sustainable approach to food and, most importantly, showcase Woking as an evolving food destination in the south east – five new restaurants are set to open in the town in late 2017!

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

One of my favourite tipples is Albury Estate Classic Cuvee from Albury Vineyard and I often visit the Lebanese restaurant, Jeitta, in Woking.

• Woking Food & Drink Festival, Woking town centre. Web: wokingfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk



Name: Aneke Spacie

Role: owner

What have you been up to since our last awards?

Since winning at last year’s awards, we haven’t stopped! We have fully upgraded the whole kitchen, as well as investing in some whizzy new machinery. We are really looking forward to a glorious summer so that we can start to use our open fire pit oven!

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We love working with our local suppliers and have collaborated with many, who we now consider to be an essential part of our offering. We are also in discussions about opening Waters Edge 2, which is very exciting – I can’t say too much at this point!

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

At this time of year, we love picking our farm smoked asparagus and lightly grilling with a dash of truffle butter... it’s heaven! We enjoy working with local allotment holders and putting their extra produce on the menu. We also visit Crockford Bridge Farm in Addlestone, as they also have pick-your-own fields. When time allows, we love eating at local small restaurants and our current favourites are Jeitta and The Real Turk in Woking.

• Waters Edge, Heather Farm, Horsell Common, Surrey GU21 4XY. Tel: 01483 726556. Web: surreywatersedge.com



Name: Joelle Cullender

Role: Co-owner

What have you been up to since our last awards?

We have been as busy as ever since winning the award and, as well as running our deli kitchen, we’ve been working on a foodie app in our spare time, which we hope to launch by the summer. We have hosted some fantastic pop-up evenings, including a fundraising quiz night for George & the Giant Pledge – we cooked a three-course supper and held a quiz night with Nicholas Owen as our quizmaster. The evening included an auction and we raised over £3,000. Marc also ran the London Marathon for The Children’s Trust!

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We have plans to launch The Cullenders Club. A monthly/weekly foodie gift box that we’ll deliver locally to start but hope to launch nationwide. This has been delayed but we will be launching it in plenty of time for Christmas. Our youngest child starts school this year, so that will give us a bit more time to focus on new projects such as this.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

We’re quite partial to a rib-eye steak from Robert & Edwards in Reigate, it’s our Friday night treat if we’re both at home at the same time and will always go hand-in-hand with a nice bottle of wine from The Vineking. Our weekends often involve taking the family out for lunch. We love the carvery at Reigate Manor or roasting a rib of beef from Craig Best, the local butcher in Woodhatch. For a child free evening, La Barbe is a welcome treat, or we often enjoy one of Maxwell Mckenzie’s pop-up evenings at our place!

• Cullenders, 13 Bell Street, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7AD. Tel: 01737 240800 Web: cullenders.com



Name: Nick Sinclair

Role: Executive chef

What have you been up to since our last awards?

It has been very busy here at the hotel. We’ve gone through lots of staff changes, with one of my sous chefs leaving to head up The Brasserie at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot; my other sous and his wife have just had their first child; and three of my chefs have left to travel the world. So new team, new start! We have also slightly changed direction in the restaurant, despite winning the award. We are trying to relax it somewhat and simplify the food with the aim of increasing the appeal to a wider audience.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We continue to work closely with some of Surrey’s best suppliers and producers and are aiming to keep on delivering a high standard of innovative simple dining to our guests.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

I don’t get too much time away from work but when I do (and I’m not on the golf course!) you will probably find me at Surrey Hills Butchers in Oxshott testing out some of his amazing local beef, stopping for a quick drink in The Bell in Fetcham (it’s just had a great face lift) or just out around Surrey’s amazing countryside with the family stopping of for bites and drinks wherever the wind takes us. I was, however, lucky enough to spend my birthday at Pennyhill Park recently. What a spa! So relaxed. I was well and truly spoilt by them and it was nice to catch-up with chefs Dan Lee and Matt Worswick.

• Emlyn at Burford Bridge Hotel, At the Foot of Box Hill, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6BX. Tel: 01306 887821 Web: emlynrestaurant.co.uk



Name: Rebecca Mackenzie

Role: Owner

What have you been up to since our last awards?

We launched a new menu, which includes our nostalgic cheese on toast, buttermilk pancakes and signature milkshakes. We also have a finely-tuned menu for children – our unicorn hot chocolates are thing of wonder. We hosted our very first wedding at Dotty’s and have hugely expanded our private events side of the business. Then there’s been some fantastic workshops including floristry, pottery and jewellery making and our first crafternoon tea event, which proved a great success too.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We are hugely excited to be collaborating with the London Craft Club and will be expanding our range of workshops for 2017/18. If ever there was a time to learn a new skill whilst drinking tea and eating cake this is it! We are also excited about having a lovely new awning fitted which will ensure our outdoor seating area is looking very glam just in time for summer.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

Away from Dotty’s, we always like to seek out new places and we really love a visit to Fego Cafe in Banstead for brunch. Sunday lunchtimes are best spent at the Stephan Langton Inn near Dorking and the team there really looked after us on our recent visit.

• Dotty’s Teahouse, 108 High Street, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 3AE. Tel: 0203 754 4613 Web: dottysteahouse.co.uk



Names: Phil May and Tim McEntire

Roles: Executive directors

What have you been up to since our last awards?

We were so proud to have won the services to the community award. It not only gave our largely volunteer organisation a huge lift but seemed to rub off on our customers too. Since then we’ve been busy, busy, busy!

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We’ve added a new hard cheese called Ashmore, which for a time was made in Shere until the producers transferred the business over the neighbouring county border to Kent where it’s now made by the Canterbury Cheesemakers. There’s been a very welcome increase in local honey production, so we are now able to offer honeys from six local beekeepers, covering pretty much all points of the compass radiating from the stall on Dorking High Street. We’ve also increased our offering of local meat, both on the stall and for home delivery. Our local preserves producer, Debbie Nicholas, teamed up with the Dorking Community Orchard to pick damsons from the orchards near Polesdon Lacey and turn them into fabulous jam for the stall and local restaurants. Oh and we’ve extended the operation somewhat, as Tim has started an exciting new business supplying local Surrey produce to restaurants in London!

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

Favourite local foodie treat? A slice of super fresh Chalk Hills Bakery buttermilk rye loaf with a spread of Bookhams’ traditional South Downs butter topped with wonderful Surrey Hills honey. What’s not to like?!

• Dorking Food Float, High Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1AN. Tel: 07745 985283. Web: foodfloat.org



Name: Anneliese Cameron

Role: Director

What have you been up to since our last awards?

We’ve been busy keeping the standards high at our beautiful pub and delivering great food, drink and service with smiles and building on our great relationships with local producers.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

Our new menu changes seasonally and always highlights local and seasonal produce with some really exciting and creative dishes - utilising beer from the Tillingbourne Brewery, near Shere, in many of our ingredients.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

Running a pub means there’s hardly any time away from work, but on a rare escape it will always be to a pub or restaurant that’s a dog-friendly and has fresh fish on the menu. It’s over the border, but The Chequers at Rowhook is a recent find and well worth a visit and we are really keen to try The Clink restaurant between Banstead and Sutton soon too.

• The Stephan Langton Inn, Friday Street, Abinger Common, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6JR. Tel: 01306 730775. Web: stephanlangton.pub



Names: Cathy Garthwaite and Christina Collins

Roles: Owners

What have you been up to since our last awards?

We were all thrilled to receive the award, and it was made even more special when so many of our customers told us how well deserved it was. The café has continued to get busier and busier, which is great news. We were concerned about how we would be able to cope with our increasing clientele during the winter months when the garden was closed, so we erected a yurt in the garden, complete with a log-burning stove and furs – an apres ski type feel. It seats up to 35 and has proved to be really popular both as a continuation of our café and as a small function venue

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We have recently added to our kitchen facilities to enable us to cater for external events - birthdays, anniversaries etc. We are really looking forward to increasing this part of the business. Our talented chefs enjoy showcasing their skills. We are excited about the approaching summer months and seeing our pretty garden back in full swing. We are busy working on a new website, which hopefully will be launched in June

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

We really enjoy going to Kinghams, our local restaurant in Shere, as well as many of the other great local gastro pubs – The Queen’s Head in East Clandon, The Onslow Arms in West Clandon etc.

• The Dabbling Duck, Middle Street, Shere, Surrey GU5 9HF. Tel: 01483 205791. Web: thedabblingduck.uk.com



Name: Duncan Smith

Role: Head of booking

What have you been up to since our last awards?

Days after the 2016 awards we celebrated our 10th birthday with our new festival, Always The Sun, on Stoke Park. It exceeded our expectations with an amazing turnout for two full days of live music, theatre, cinema, comedy, food and drink etc. We also invested in a brand new lighting rig at the venue which has been blowing people away at our live shows since January. Other than that, we’ve been keeping busy as usual bringing some of the most exciting music, culture and free community events in the country to Guildford.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

We have just announced that much-loved purveyors of smoke and spice, Smokey Joe, have made their new home at The Boileroom, meaning their exciting new offering of indulgent, gourmet street food is available over the bar and to take away. We will also be building on the success of Always The Sun by returning to Stoke Park from Friday September 8 to Sunday September 10. Expect a truly community-centric experience with world class music, food and culture all for a very affordable price. There’s a pop-up fine dining aspect to that, too!

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

After visiting 101 Records in Farnham, Record Corner in Godalming or Ben’s Collectors in Guildford, I’d grab a coffee at Kalm Kitchen Café in Guildford and a bite to eat at Burrito Loco – a man can’t survive on vinyl and coffee alone! I am a sucker for Italian food, so Olivo is a good choice for an evening pizza, and then across the King’s Head pub for a drink.

• The Boileroom, 13 Stokefields, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LS. Tel: 01483 440022. Web: theboileroom.net



Name: Paul Clarkson

Role: Head chef trainer

What have you been up to since our last awards?

Since claiming the award, The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down has delivered hospitality training to 114 prisoners, with 67 gaining qualifications and 30 still training with us. New data from the Justice Datalab published in November rewarded us with evidence of prisoners being 41% less likely to reoffend when going through our programme – a “statistically significant” result that we are immensely proud of. Building on this success, we continue to serve delicious seasonal menus as well as newly-introduced afternoon tea menu. This all provides the prisoners in training with vital work experience, qualifications and the support and structure to secure employment on their release and reduce reoffending rates.

Are there any changes on the horizon?

Recently, we’ve been working hard to get more of the prisoners involved with our external catering service, Clink Events. Clink Events currently caters for private events within the south east, offering hot and cold canapés, bowl food and buffets, providing a great opportunity for our trainees to expand their work experience and skillset.

Away from work, what are your favourite local foodie treats?

Surrey is surrounded by great pubs serving authentic British food and there’s nothing I enjoy more than a relaxed lunch at The North Star in Chessington. With seasonal menus serving quality British classics you can relax knowing your food is just what you’re looking for when visiting a pub.

• HMP High Down, High Down Lane, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PJ. Tel: 020 8678 9007. Web: theclinkcharity.org


Vote today!

Nominate your local foodie favourites online at foodawards.surreylife.co.uk

The businesses that receive the most public votes will then be visited by our judges

Closing date for nominations: Friday July 28

Black-tie awards night at Foxhills: Thursday September 21


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