Voting open for St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival
- Credit: Archant
The wait is over, and voting is now open for this year’s St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival Awards.
So if you know where to find the most delicious cake, tastiest takeaway, mouthwatering meal or the perfect pint, this is your chance to say well done to a local business and cast your vote at www.enjoystalbans.com.
The winners will be decided by public vote, and after last year’s confusion over whether businesses were in the right category, judges will visit the three venues voted top by the public to check that they do exactly what they say they do.
The family-friendly venues will be visited with children, and if the business claims that it uses locally sourced ingredients then the judges will check if that is actually true on the day they go in. Voting is limited to one vote per person, and IP addresses and voting patterns will be checked to avoid any accusations of rigging.
There are 11 categories in total: nine are decided by public vote along with the scrutiny of a judging panel and two are special awards decided by the Food and Drink Festival steering group. The Food and Drink Champion will be selected out of all the award category winners and judged by the sponsors and steering group.
You may also want to watch:
The Kate D’Arcy Award is a special award in memory of Kate D’Arcy that recognises exceptional customer service in any type of business. If you know a fantastic barperson or waiter, a super-helpful shopkeeper or market stall holder why not nominate them for this accolade?
The winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner on Monday, October 6, at St Michael’s Manor. The Dinner will be the last event in the Festival, which starts on Wednesday, September 24, with the legendary CAMRA beer festival. There are two key dates for your diary now: the Harpenden Farmers Market will be on Sunday, September 28, with special Festival events, and the St Albans Food and Drink Festival, with stalls and live demos, will be on Sunday, October 5. In the meantime, here are the shortlists. If any are new to you, this is the perfect opportunity to go and try – you may discover a new favourite!
- 1 Battle of St Albans appears on new Wars of the Roses stamp
- 2 University student digs World War One trench in St Albans garden for film project close to his heart
- 3 Parish council reveals £250K financial scandal over 11 years
- 4 What are the district's best pub gardens to visit from April 12?
- 5 NHS hired conman on £320,000 five months after he was unmasked
- 6 Knife found in churchyard by litter pickers
- 7 Budding Beaumont School playwright Oliver wins scriptwriting competition
- 8 People with these surnames in Herts could be sitting on unclaimed estate fortunes
- 9 Talented Verulam Reallymoving juniors star on return to competitive cycling
- 10 Harpenden and Radlett rail passengers able to use barcode readers at stations
Best Family Friendly Venue: Inn on the Park, The Pudding Stop, Bar Meze, The Sitting Room, Dahlia Coffee House (Aylett Nurseries), Zizzi (St Albans);
Best Local Café: The Courtyard Café, The Pudding Stop, Bakehouse St Albans, Barrissimo, Blueberry Café, Inn on the Park, Abbot’s Kitchen;
Best Independent Food/Drink Shop: Tomoko Spirits Boutique, Hedges Farm Shop, Poulters fish stall (St Albans Saturday market), Buongiorno Italia Delicatessen, Beershop, Jay’s Delicatessen, Rollings Wine Company, Flagship Wines;
Best Newcomer: Beershop, The Pudding Stop, Thompson@Darcys, The City Market Company, Baked Nation;
Best Local Restaurant: Chez Mumtaj, Thompsons@Darcys, The Foragers@The Verulam Arms, That Little Place, Singhli, Bar Azita, Bar Meze, Lussmanns Fish & Grill Restaurants (St Albans and Harpenden);
Best Bar: Chilli Bar and Kitchen, Billy’s Bar and Restaurant, The Snug Bar, Mokoko;
Best Pub: The Mermaid, The Cock Inn, The Verulam Arms, The Hare & Hounds, The Bull, The Lower Red Lion, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, The Holly Bush;
Best Takeaway: Hatch, Halema, H & H Fried Chicken and Kebabs, Godfrey’s, The Pudmobile (The Pudding Stop), The Ridgeway Fish Bar, India Garden;
Best Local Producer: Redbournbury Watermill and Bakery, Hedges Farm Shop, T Roberts and Son, Crumbs ‘n’ All, The 3 Brewers of St Albans, Earthworks.