Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2016 finalists

PUBLISHED: 09:29 06 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:42 06 September 2016

Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2016 finalists

Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2016 finalists


There were a record number of votes in this year’s Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, making it the most hotly-contested year to date. Here we catch-up with all of our finalists to find out what reaching the final three means to them…

With grateful thanks to our main event sponsor Partridge Muir & Warren:



Sponsored by Art of Curry



“We are once again thrilled to be a finalist,” say owners Joelle and Marc Cullender. “It’s really flattering to be nominated amongst some of Surrey’s finest. Eight years after we took on a derelict shop and started from scratch, we are continually striving to offer our customers a personal, high-quality product and service and we pride ourselves on our commitment and passion. As a winner or not, it’s a great night at a superb venue.”

• Cullenders Delicatessen & Kitchen, 13 Bell Street, Reigate RH2 7AD. Tel: 01737 240800. Web:

Putty Cakes


“We are totally blown away,” say business partners Gavin and Anita Puttick. “We bought our shop in August last year and it’s been such a journey. Being nominated out of the whole of Surrey is just amazing – our little shop, in the middle of nowhere! We were asking our customers to vote for us but you never really know if people actually will. What sets us apart is that we are a fully-stocked specialist sugarcraft shop for the hobby baker and professional alike.”

• Putty Cakes, Ifield Road, Charlwood RH6 0DZ. Tel: 01293 863600. Web:

Godalming Food Company


“We’re delighted to be nominated for the third year in a row,” says owner Kevin Depree. “We share a passion with our customers for local, artisan and exclusive produce and spend a lot of time working with our independent producers to continually evolve our range. We’ve focused on upgrading our coffee offering this year, and now customers can enjoy our new rustic seating area, watch the world go by and taste some of the great produce we have on offer.”

• Godalming Food Company, 99 High Street, Godalming GU7 1AQ. Tel: 01483 239891.




Sponsored by NFU Mutual, Oxted

Priory Farm Shop


“We’re so pleased to have reached the final three,” says general manager Will Edwards. “We aim to find the best local and artisan products and provide knowledgeable service with a smile. Everyone in independent retail will know it’s not always easy, but we have a fantastic team here who all work very hard and it’s great to know that it’s appreciated by our customers.”

• Priory Farm Shop, Sandy Lane, Nutfield RH1 4EJ. Tel: 01737 822603. Web:

Kingfisher Farm Shop

Abinger Hammer

“A family business established in 1854, our traditionally-grown watercress is still harvested and bunched by hand,” say partners Barrie and Margaret Arminson and Marion McBurney. “Now in our fifth generation, our shop opened its doors back in 1971 and has given us over 40 years of retailing the highest-quality produce we can find. Winning this award would acknowledge our loyal, highly food-savvy customers and our dedicated hard-working team.”

• Kingfisher Farm Shop, Guildford Road, Abinger Hammer RH5 6AG. Tel: 01306 730703. Web:

Bourne Valley


“We’re thrilled to be recognised as one of the leading farm shops,” says director Joanna Elding. “We aim to provide an alternative food-shopping experience in our local community and we are proud to support British food and, in particular, local Surrey producers and suppliers. Our long-serving, friendly farm-shop team aim to respond to our customers’ requirements on a personal basis.”

• Bourne Valley Farm Shop, Woodham Park Road, Addlestone KT15 3TH. Tel: 01932 342013. Web:



Sponsored by T&G Wholesale Meats Ltd

Black Barn Butchers


“We’re delighted to be finalists for the second year running,” says director David Mitchell. “We thank all our customers for their support. I opened the butchers in 2012, and we pride ourselves on the provenance of our meat, sourcing from local farmers with pure-breed Aberdeen Angus, pedigree Hereford beef and South Downs sheep, and our dry-ageing counter displays a range of rare-breed beef.”

• Black Barn Butchers, Chapel Lane, Milford GU8 5HU. Tel: 01483 520522. Web:

Surrey Hills Butchers


“We’re extremely honoured,” says butcher patron Simon Taylor. “It’s great to know our local community have taken the time to vote. We’re a forward-thinking young team, not short on experience. People are excited by our diversity and willingness to provide new products. We pride ourselves on producing the best-quality meats, and our passion is to educate people about the traditional butchery we offer, fused with modern thinking and cooking techniques.”

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

George Arthur Butchers


“It is our 60th year trading, and we feel very honoured that our customers have nominated us,” say company directors John Dickinson and Allen Coyne. “We have reached this landmark anniversary with a balance of the old and new. The old is the traditional butchery skills and quality products with no short cuts. The new is following the latest trends in cooking and using the internet to keep our customers informed.”

• George Arthur Butchers, 70 Guildford Road, Lightwater GU18 5SD. Tel: 01276 472191. Web:



Sponsored by Woking Food and Drink Festival

Albury Vineyard


“At Albury Vineyard, we produce the highest-quality still and sparkling wines,” says marketing and events manager Lucy Letley. “We are a family-run business, passionate about producing great wine in a natural and sustainable way. We are the only organic vineyard in Surrey, and have won many awards for our wines. We have honey from bees that live on our vineyard and also team up with Silent Pool Distillery to make brandy.”

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

Briscoe’s Jellies


“We are delighted to have been named as finalists,” says director Jon Briscoe. “Having moved from operator to producer last year and into such a new sector, reaching the finals means so much more. As previous winners in a very different category (when we had The Jolly Farmers pub at Buckland), we remain honoured and humbled at this recognition.”

• Briscoe’s Jellies, 17 Endsleigh Road, Merstham RH1 3LX. Tel: 07854 446213. Web:

The Art of Curry


“Being a finalist for the second year running is a great honour,” says director Sameena Thompson. “Having won last year as newcomer, it seems fitting that a year later we are a contender for producer. We’ve spent the past year working hard to establish our sauces, move into new premises and grow the brand. Our passion for producing fresh, chilled curry sauces of the highest quality, with no compromises but fantastic tastes, sets us apart – and we are grateful that Surrey Life readers seem to agree!”

• Art of Curry, 11 Wharf Street, Godalming GU7 1NN. Tel: 07921 169262. Web:



Sponsored by Surrey Hills Enterprises

London House

West Byfleet

“Being a finalist in the awards for best local menu is recognition for the ideas and creativity we have as a restaurant, using British ingredients,” says owner/head chef Ben Piette. “We really enjoy showcasing our take on dishes and we always say to our customers, ‘whatever you think it will be, it will be completely different’. It’s the element of surprise.”

• London House, 30 Station Approach, West Byfleet KT14 6NF. Tel: 01932 482026. Web:

Botley Hill Farmhouse


“When we bought Botley Hill Farmhouse in the spring of 2015, sourcing ingredients from local suppliers was a priority,” says manager/part-owner Nicole Joubert. “In fact, we contacted everyone we could find! We are fortunate to be situated on the Titsey Estate, surrounded by farmland, so sourcing starts just over the fence. A gamekeeper supplies venison, lamb and game, and our beef comes from Surrey Farm. We champion local artisans across our menu too.”

• Botley Hill Farmhouse, Limpsfield Road, Warlingham CR6 9QH. Tel: 01959 577154. Web:

Stephan Langton Inn

Friday Street

“We take great pride in our local sourcing here at the Stephan Langton so this is such a fantastic award to be in the running for,” says director Anneliese Cameron. “From our ales, which include offerings from Shere’s Tillingbourne Brewery, and top-class wines, from the team at independent wine merchant The Vineyard in Dorking, to head chef Simon Adams’ seasonal menus, we celebrate local independents as often as possible.”

• Stephan Langton Inn, Friday Street RH5 6JR. Tel: 01306 730775. Web:



Sponsored by Porsche Centre Guildford

Dotty’s Tea House


“Having only opened in May, we were absolutely thrilled to learn that we had made it as a finalist,” says owner Rebecca Mackenzie. “Dotty’s Teahouse has quickly become the destination of choice for those seeking specialty teas, freshly-made food and good old-fashioned cakes and we are so proud that we have managed to create a community hub where people can meet and enjoy their nostalgic surroundings.”

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

The Plough Inn


“We are absolutely over the moon that our guests have recognised all our hard work and determination over the past 12 months,” says head chef John Sparks. “We are extremely proud of our young, passionate team, both in the kitchen and front of house. Their creativity, innovation and thirst for British producers has allowed us to create a variety of fresh and unique dishes and cocktails, as well as going back to basics with projects such as our on-site smoker and kitchen garden.”

• The Plough Inn, Plough Lane, Cobham KT1 1HN. Tel: 01932 589790. Web:

Sweet Passion Cakes

West Byfleet

“We only opened last summer and so already having such tremendous support from our local customers is really humbling,” says co-owner and pastry chef Jo Schwarzkopf. “In order to produce all our cakes and bakes freshly means very early mornings and late nights, but we enjoy every minute of it. Our name says it all: it is our (sweet) passion to make great-tasting and eye-pleasing cakes and desserts. Quality, consistency and creativity are our ‘magic weapon’.”

• Sweet Passion Cakes, 59 Old Woking Road, West Byfleet KT14 6LF. Tel: 01932 910396. Web:



Sponsored by The Mandolay Hotel & Conference Centre

Surrey Spice


“Food runs through the core of India,” says founder and owner Mandira Sarkar. “Every season, every region, every festival and every life event has its own special food. Yet little of this diversity is savoured in the UK and all we have are generic curries and kormas. Surrey Spice is all about celebrating authentic Indian fine dining. We use family recipes – be it from the streets or palaces, regional flavours and lots of love and passion to take you on a magical foodie journey.”

• Surrey Spice, 9 Gatley Drive, Guildford GU4 7JJ. Tel: 07876 135096. Web:

Briscoe’s Jellies


“We are delighted,”says director Jon Briscoe. “To see an idea that was born a number of years ago progress into a product stocked in a growing number of retail outlets and get recognised for its innovation is truly inspiring and very exciting. As previous winners in a different category, we understand the high standards required to reach the finals let alone win.”

• Briscoe’s Jellies, 17 Endsleigh Road, Merstham RH1 3LX. Tel: 07854 446213. Web:

Silent Pool Distillers


“We are delighted that we have made it through as a finalist for a second consecutive year,” says director Ian McCulloch. “Silent Pool Gin has enjoyed meteoric success since its initial product launch in the spring of 2015, winning a string of highly-acclaimed awards from numerous international competitions as well as scooping the award for innovation at last year’s Surrey Life awards. We are grateful to all our loyal customers who continue to support us.”

• Silent Pool Distillery, Shere Road, Albury GU5 9BW. Tel: 01483 229136. Web:



Sponsored by Charles Russell Speechlys

The Grange Centre


“The award recognises the talent and professionalism of people with disabilities – whether they’re cooking to become more independent or learning catering skills,” says senior catering tutor Steve Warr. “When customers come to Simply Scones, our weekly tea room, visit our lunchtime café in Dorking or place orders for our delicious scones and celebration cakes, they are giving the people we support a huge boost.”

• The Grange, Rectory Lane, Bookham KT23 3DE. Tel: 01372 452698. Web:

Hambledon Village Shop


“The volunteers at Hambledon Village Shop are delighted,” says manager Gill Darbyshire. “The shop closed as a commercial venture in 1990, but the villagers took it upon themselves to re-open it as a shop, post office and café, run by the community for the community. The shop now has over 70 people involved in a voluntary capacity, aged from 14 to 84. It is the longest-established community-run shop in the south-east.”

• Hambledon Village Shop, Hambledon GU8 4HF. Tel: 01428 682176. Web:

Dorking Food Float


“Working hard with volunteers in all weathers to bring fresh and local food to Dorking High Street is immensely rewarding as well as a challenge, so we are enormously proud,” says the director Phil May. “Four Dorking residents had the vision and, in 2010, Food Float was born providing a community hub offering good-quality, tasty, low-carbon local food.”

• Dorking Food Float, High Street, Dorking RH4 1AN. Tel: 01306 882806. Web:



Sponsored by Bentley’s

G Live


“I am thrilled that we’ve been nominated for this award,” says director Tim Brinkman.

“The nomination recognises the reputation G Live has for staging diverse shows and events, all complemented by our great food and drink offering. I’m also proud to have a team of dedicated and enthusiastic staff and volunteers who work hard to make sure every visitor has an enjoyable experience.”

• G Live, London Road, Guildford GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 739040. Web:

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre


“We are delighted to be a finalist and very grateful that so many of our regular customers have proposed us for this award,” says director and chief executive James Barber. “As a theatre, the primary purpose of our catering is to look after our guests at show time, so the challenge is to cater for a large number in

a short space of time while maintaining high standards. We also welcome diners who are not joining us for a show to come and enjoy our riverside location.”

• Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 440077. Web:

The Boileroom


“Since 2006, The Boileroom has been thrilled to bring a huge variety of entertainment and culture to our community,” says director Dominique Frazer. “Supporting local artists is our passion and, in the last 10 years, we’ve given a platform to local musicians, comedians, actors and more, alongside some of the most well-known artists in the country. Operating a small, independent business isn’t always easy, but being born and bred in Surrey, it’s always a pleasure to give something back.”

• The Boileroom, 13 Stoke Fields, Guildford GU1 4LS. Tel: 01483 440022. Web:



Sponsored by BBC Surrey

Woking Food and Drink Festival


“Each year, the festival grows in size, stature and popularity and we’re delighted to showcase some of the nation’s best culinary talents,” says Woking Borough Council chief executive Ray Morgan. “It’s an accessible and diverse event, which boasts great community spirit. It also continues to be a catalyst for creative and successful collaborations between businesses, chefs and partner organisations.”

• Woking Food and Drink Festival, Woking Town Centre GU21 6GH. Tel: 01483 755855. Web:

Thames Ditton Farmers’ Market

Thames Ditton

“We’re thrilled that the farmers’ market has been recognised,” say committee members Megan George and Tricia Welch. “Established in October 2015, TDFM attracts over 1,000 locals and visitors with at least 23 farmers and local producers. Unique in its mission to support Thames Ditton’s independent High Street, the market is a wonderful monthly meeting place.”

• Thames Ditton Farmers’ Market, High Street, Thames Ditton KT7 0RY. Web:

Ripley Farmers’ Market


“We’re delighted to be nominated in the awards for the third year running,” says committee member Nicola Barber. “It makes us proud that our loyal market customers have nominated us, as it proves we are getting things right. Our market is run by volunteers and the profits from the stall rentals are returned to the community to fund charitable causes and local events or groups.”

• Ripley Farmers’ Market, Ripley Green GU23 6AJ. Web:



Sponsored by Box Hill School

The Cricketers

Horsell Birch

“We are thrilled,” says general manager Tertius van Zyl. “We’re proud to deliver excellent food and drink, all day, every day. We offer a great choice of menus and provide fun Wikki Stix and kids’ colouring for younger diners. We overlook beautiful Horsell Common and have a great play area. The sheer volume of families we serve tells us that we must be doing something right!”

• The Cricketers, Horsell Birch, Woking GU21 4XB. Tel: 01483 762363. Web:

The Bletchingley Arms


“We’re so proud to be finalists,” says general manager Darren Hawes. “Our friendly pub has something for all ages, with delicious food and drinks and a popular kids’ menu. We are extremely family-friendly and doggies are welcome in our bar area too. We recently refurbished our outside areas, for alfresco drinking and dining, a fun and safe kids’ play area and also added some funky outside-dining huts.”

• The Bletchingley Arms, Bletchingley RH1 4PE. Tel: 01883 740142. Web:

Waters Edge

Horsell Common

“We are delighted and humbled to be a finalist after being open for less than a year,” says chef/owner Aneke Spacie. “These awards reflect our whole ethos of providing and showcasing the best local ingredients from both our farm, half a mile from the restaurant, and also great local suppliers, in a natural, friendly environment. We aim to delight families and provide a setting that is unique in the county.”

• Waters Edge, Horsell Common, Woking GU21 4XY. Tel: 01483 726556. Web:



Sponsored by Sussex Lighting

The Green Rooms


“It’s always a bit of a nail-biting time waiting to see if you’ve made the ‘list’,” says owner Sylvia Crimi. “So when you get the call to say ‘you’re finalists’, it really is an incredible feeling.

I kid you not, the awards ceremony is like the Oscars, but held in Surrey and all about good food! What makes us different is that if the Green Rooms were an actual person, you’d really want to hang out with them. Now there aren’t many places out there like that, are there?”

• The Green Rooms of Godstone, Plum Cake Corner, Godstone RH9 8DZ. Tel: 01883 740407. Web:

The Dabbling Duck


“We feel very proud,” say owners Christina Collins and Cathy Garthwaite. “We pride ourselves on serving premium, locally-sourced, fresh food to create a seasonal modern menu, which includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Our staff are carefully selected for their genuine warmth and provide a high level of customer service. Winning this award would be the ultimate celebration of all that.”

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



“We’re so deeply honoured,” say directors Russell James and Andrew Shaw. “We work really hard to ensure that we provide a great service and great food and drinks. To be nominated gives us such a sense of happiness and humility. We endeavour to make our environment much more than just being about our food, but embrace the local community, run evening groups and try to give back as much as we can, as without their support we simply wouldn’t be here.”

• Pinnock’s Coffee House, High Street, Ripley GU23 6BS. Tel: 01483 222419. Web:



Sponsored by Guildford Tourist Information Centre

Botley Hill Farmhouse


“We’re thrilled,” says manager/part-owner Nicole Joubert. “The best pub needs the best beer, and we take great care over ours. For instance, we offer real ales from Westerham Brewery and Reigate’s Pilgrim Brewery, which are drawn straight from cask to glass. We also source amazing wines from small vineyards. The inn is 500 years old and is a unique place to spend time, whether enjoying the splendid sunsets or cosying up by the open fire.”

• Botley Hill Farmhouse, Limpsfield Road, Warlingham CR6 9QH. Tel: 01959 577154. Web:

Stephan Langton Inn

Friday Street

“To be recognised as a finalist in two awards categories is testament to the vision and hard work of the whole team,” says director Anneliese Cameron. “Our focus on serving good food, locally sourced, together with local ale and wines, all delivered to our guests with excellent customer service, has turned Surrey’s most secluded pub and restaurant into the destination pub that it deserves to be.”

• Stephan Langton Inn, Friday Street RH5 6JR. Tel: 01306 730775. Web:

The White Hart


“Being nominated is a massive achievement, having only opened just over a year ago,” says general manager Rebecca Bowen. “I think the secret to our success is that our fantastic staff have bags of personality, the bar is stocked with quality products and we’ve a brilliant group of regulars who create our buzzy atmosphere. We’re delighted to have established ourselves as a cornerstone of the local community and look forward to many more years of success in one of Surrey’s finest villages!”

• The White Hart, High Street, Chobham GU24 8AA. Tel: 01276 857580. Web:



Sponsored by Scattergood’s Agency



“It’s a great honour,” says chef proprietor Paul Baker. “Everyone working at Kinghams takes pride in the consistent quality of food and service. For front of house, this means offering friendly and efficient service.

For the food, we try to create exciting dishes with originality, but the emphasis is on quality ingredients. Our butcher sources meat from Surrey farms; fish is direct from Brixham, as well as from Ashtead Fisheries; whilst fruit and veg are from our village greengrocers.”

• Kinghams, Gomshall Lane, Shere GU5 9HE. Tel: 01483 202168. Web:

La Barbe


“Here at La Barbe, we have very much enjoyed being involved in the awards,” says owner Serge Tassi. “It has been quite a talking point, prompting so many customers to remind us they have been dining at the restaurant since we opened 34 years ago, and to share happy memories of celebrations, reunions and proposals. Our reputation is built on wonderful food, great wines and excellent service, but our story is also very much about our customers.”

• La Barbe, 71 Bell Street, Reigate RH2 7AN. Tel: 01737 241966. Web:

Emlyn Restaurant


“It is an amazing achievement,” says chef Nick Sinclair. “There are so many highly- regarded restaurants in Surrey, it is truly a feather in our cap to get this far. We strive to use locally-sourced produce and treat it with the care and attention it deserves. Using classical flavours and modern cooking techniques, we aim to offer diners a unique experience. It has been a hard 18 months since we relaunched and this award would be a real foundation for our future.”

• Emlyn Restaurant, Mercure Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking RH5 6BX. Tel: 01306 887821. Web:



Sponsored by Portmore Dental

Nick Sinclair at Emlyn Restaurant


“It feels fantastic to have made the final three,” says executive chef Nick Sinclair. “My ethos is really straightforward: I try my hardest to source the best produce I can, preferably local where possible, and I treat the ingredients with care and attention. For so long, Surrey was lacking in good places to eat but it has really come alive – there’s some great names arriving in the county and it’s amazing to say that my cooking is amongst them.”

• Emlyn Restaurant, Mercure Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking RH5 6BX. Tel: 01306 887821. Web:

Eric Guignard at The French Table


“It is a huge honour and I thank everyone that voted and to all my team for their continued hard work,” says chef patron Eric Guignard. “My restaurant celebrated its 15th birthday this year, so I feel proud of still being here and still being considered ‘relevant’ in a county so rich with excellent restaurants and some fierce competition.”

• The French Table, 85 Maple Road, Surbiton KT6 4AW. Tel: 0208 399 2365. Web:

Chris Richards at The Queen’s Head

East Clandon

“We take great pride in being part of the community, so it’s wonderful that we’re being recognised by them in this way,” says head chef Chris Richards. “My ethos when it comes to our menus is pretty simple: seasonal fresh food, cooked well. Local sourcing is also central to our dish development, and we are lucky to have some wonderful producers here in Surrey.”

• The Queen’s Head, The Street, East Clandon GU4 7RY. Tel: 01483 222332. Web:



Sponsored by Harley Street Skin Clinic

This special award is announced on the night and chosen by the chairman of the judges, Surrey Life assistant editor Matthew Williams, following discussions at the judges’ meeting at Foxhills.


Awards night!

All of this year’s finalists will attend our black-tie awards night at Foxhills in Ottershaw on Thursday September 8. As in previous years, the awards will be presided over by BBC newsreader and Reigate resident Nicholas Owen.

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