Nominations are now OPEN for the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:47 01 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:48 02 May 2019

Nominate your favourite food and drink businesses at the The Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2019 (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

Nominate your favourite food and drink businesses at the The Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2019 (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

© Thousand Word Media

It's that time again - the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards are back and we want to know your favourites

Nominations for the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards are now CLOSED.

The awards, to be held at Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday July 8, will champion and highlight the fantastic food and drink businesses in our region. Now in our 17th year, we can't wait for another celebration of your successes.

From local tea shops to pubs, independent retailers to restaurants we want you to nominate your favourites.

We have introduced three new categories to cast your nominations for this year - Free From Product of the Year, Best Local Food & Drink Initiative and Sustainability Initiative of the Year.

We have introduced these categories as the Cotswolds has a wealth of food and drink businesses that are challenging the norm and we want to recognise them for what they are doing and the positive impact they are making.

For full details about the awards visit our dedicated awards website by clicking here.

See our finalists and winners from Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2018 here.

Nominations close Thursday, April 18, 2019.

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The categories:

Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by Midcounties Co-operative

This category is open to anyone in the food or drink industry who has started a new venture within the last 18 months. We want to know what impact they have made on the local community and whether they have started to achieve any success further afield. Are they helping to promote Cotswold food and drink to a new audience?

Local Tea/Coffee Shop of the Year

We recognise that tea and coffee shops are an integral part of the Cotswold food and drink scene and we'd like to know your favourites. Is there a good selection of coffees and loose leaf teas to hand? Are the scones freshly baked and served with local jams? We're looking forward to hearing about your favourites.

Best Independent Retailer, sponsored by Folk2Folk

This is your chance to nominate your local food shop. Shout about your favourite butcher, deli, baker or food retailer who deserves this accolade. Look out for establishments that supply products produced and grown here in the Cotswolds. This retailer must have a genuine passion for our Cotswold food scene and a dedication to what it means for the local community.

Best Farm Shop, sponsored by Royal Agricultural University

The key to a good farm shop not only the range of produce and the layout, but also the principles that it supports. Does your local farm shop offer a box scheme? Is most of the produce sold, grown and raised on that farm and if not would the owner be able to tell you where it is from? Are the staff friendly and knowledgeable and would you choose it over your supermarket? We hope so!

Food Product of the Year, sponsored by the Royal Three Counties Show

Today's Cotswold food culture is a really competitive one with consumers demanding top quality products. This category gives you a chance to nominate a food product, including cheese, made by a Cotswold farmer, producer, retailer or manufacturer. Think about a product you trust or one whose packaging you value and understand more than any other.

Drinks Product of the Year

This is your opportunity to nominate your favourite drinks product that made is a Cotswold farmer, producer, retailer or manufacturer. Consider the taste, indulgence and if the product is value for money. Does the packaging clearly state it is from the Cotswolds and what entices you to purchase the product?

Free From Product of the Year

This category is aimed at all food and drink businesses producing a 'free from' product. The product must be free from at least one major allergen and offer high levels of taste, texture and visual appeal. Judges will be looking at products that are made in the Cotswolds, these could be from suppliers, producers, retailers or manufacturers.

Best Local Supplier/Producer, sponsored by Steepleton by PegasusLife

This category celebrates our local suppliers and producers that play such a vital role in the food community. We are looking for an individual or company that consistently provides reliable, quality products to their customers. We want to know why they go the extra mile for you and what they bring to your meals.

Best Local Food & Drink Initiative

We are looking for events or initiatives that are seeking to raise the bar and serve as exemplars to the industry in the Cotswolds. Whether it's a small farmers' market held once a month, a larger scale event or initiative held once a year, or an innovative promotional campaign, we want to know your favourite food and drink events.

Sustainability Initiative of the Year

This award recognises businesses that implement sustainable practices and recognise the importance of their impact on the environment. Judges will look for businesses that have reduced their impact on the environment through a specific initiative or who can demonstrate a long-term sustainability improvement. Has your local café ditched disposable coffee cups or your favourite restaurant only serving seasonal produce?

Best Cotswold Pub, sponsored by NFU Mutual

This category combines traditional country drinking pubs and those recognised as dining pubs. The whole experience needs to be taken into account for this category. Customer service, value for money and the quality of the food and drink should all be accounted for. How well does the establishment use and name local suppliers and do they clearly understand their market?

Family Dining Award

We are looking for establishments that demonstrate attention to the requirements across the generations of diners in terms of its food offering, atmosphere and the variety of menu for guests regardless of age. This award reflects the whole experience, so is aimed at establishments that place a great emphasis on standards of service to make it appeal to the whole family.

Customer Service Award

This category is on the hunt for an outstanding level of service that makes for a truly enjoyable visit to the food and drink venue. The ability to understand and anticipate customer's needs, good knowledge of menus, and dishes, provenance of ingredients and of familiarity of drinks will all be taken in to account. A personable approach that complements the establishment and enhances the visit is key.

Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Peter Hickman Hairdressers

This category is one of our most coveted awards, the Cotswold Life Restaurant of the Year needs to offer an incomparable dining experience, everything from the ambience to the service and most importantly the food. Do they use locally sourced ingredients where possible? Look through their wine list, do they have local as well as international wines and champagnes and can the staff tell you more if you ask? We'd expect nothing less from the future Restaurant of the Year.

Chef of the Year, sponsored by John Morgan Partnership Ltd

The Cotswolds is filled with talented chefs who make up the fantastic array of restaurants we have here. The Chef of the Year will be someone who has devoted him or herself to the cause of serving the best possible food. They will display fantastic technical ability, use a wide range of seasonal ingredients, present food in a striking manor and have an understanding of how flavours work together.

2019 Cotswold Food & Drink Hero, sponsored by Hazlewoods

The Cotswolds has a food and drink scene which is more vibrant than many others across the UK. This category celebrates the individual who has made the most impact on the community. They will be someone who goes the extra mile to promote the Cotswolds to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout. Now is your chance to tell us who you feel deserves this accolade.

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Our sponsors:

Our Headline Sponsor: Warner's Budgens

Warner's Budgens is the headline sponsor at the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards (CLFDA) for the twelfth year running.

Renowned for championing local food and drink producers, Guy Warner and his team have discovered some true Cotswold gems and are proud to work with many CLFDA nominees and finalists.

Local produce has always been fundamental to the Warner's Budgens brand. Many local producers began their journeys at Warner's Budgens and have since grown to become award-winning household names.

Today, Warner's Budgens works with over 50 local producers and over 800 locally-produced food and drink items can be found alongside everyday essentials and branded goods in the four Warner's Budgens stores at Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh, Bidford-on-Avon and Winchcombe.

Our Associate Partner: Martin Green Traditional Decorating

Our aim is to provide an exceptional professional decorative service.

In total our staff have nearly 100 years of experience with painting and product knowledge. We offer a wide selection of quality paint, stain, painting supplies, wall covering and window treatments as well as expert design consultation for a comfortable, fun, and friendly decorating experience.

We provide a full range of interior painting and decorative finishes either responsive to an interior designer's advice or working with your chosen designer or architect. We can also manage interior projects acting on behalf of the homeowner and coordinating other trades.

Our Event Partner: Cotswold TV

Cotswold TV is the Video and Film Production division of Furry Feet Studios – a creative team who have been producing content for businesses of all sizes since 1999. Specialising in producing TV style videos that entertain and inform whilst promote the business it stars. Through bespoke TV news studios, professionally presented features, event coverage and TV shows, they make you the star. Based near Cirencester Cotswold TV offer video production across the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire but also across the UK producing content, from global companies such as BP to filming for our very own group's food and drink awards across the UK.

Our Event Partner: Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse is famous for its jump racing, but the conference and events facilities have become increasingly popular.

With 12 function rooms, the magnificent Panoramic Suite, 60 syndicate rooms and the Centaur, a state of the art multi-purpose auditorium, the racecourse provides a range of inspiring spaces to suit every event. Capacities range from 2-2,250 for board meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and awards dinners through to Christmas parties and weddings.

Crucially, the delicious new menus, which were recently launched alongside local artisan suppliers, show the imagination and expertise of the racecourse caterers. At Cheltenham, the quality of food and skill in catering is seen as the vital ingredient to a successful event.

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