Following a fantastic evening at the Holiday Inn CMK, the winners of the 2017 Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards have been announced.
Awards Part 1 (Leisure)
Hotel of the Year (under 50 rooms)
Winner: Villiers Hotel
Villiers Hotel is the only 4 Star Hotel in North Buckinghamshire and is located in the centre of Buckingham
Hotel of the Year (over 50 rooms)
Winner: Mercure Abbey Hill
Abbey Hill Hotel was fully refurbished less than 5 years ago but this year the restaurant has been updated. The hotel boasts 91 bedrooms and is nextdoor to Abbey Hill Golf Course.
Best Destination or Attraction
Winner: Simply Race
Simply Race is the UK’s most highly rated motorsport simulation centre on Trip Advisor. It’s been a great start to the year for MD Ben Turner, having recently won Young Business Person of the Year at the MK Business Achievement Awards.
Best Café or Coffee House
Winner: Nonna’s (Woburn Sands)
Second year in a row for Nonna’s… The brasserie at the front of the popular Woburn Sands mediterranean restaurant offers breakfasts, Italian Illy coffees, a market deli counter and local music nights.
Pub of the Year
Winner: The Cross Keys (Woolstone)
Hannah and her team run the popular, traditional country pub in Woolstone in the heart of Milton Keynes.
Bar of the Year
Winner: MK11 Live Music Venue and Sports Bar
The independent music and sports venue in Kiln Farm has made a name for its support of local music as well as bringing well known names to MK, monthly jazz sessions and street food. They also organise annual festivals including Octoberfest, a cider festival, tribute bands and Christmas craft festival.
Awards Part 2 (Food)
Best Local Product (Food)
Winner: Honey with Almonds - Beekeeper Honey
The honey softens the almonds and infuses the flavours. This runny textured honey impressed the judges.
Best Local Product (Drink)
Winner: Rhubarb Gin – Foxdenton.
Judge Phil Fanning was so impressed he will be stocking it at Paris House
Best Use of Local Produce
Winner: The Bell and Bear – Emberton
Third year in a row. They are a small, family run pub owned by Sophie and Jon. Their baker comes in on a Friday, their meat is from a local farm, their eggs are from local famers too…they stock lots of Milton Keynes beers and their vegetables come from within a couple of miles.
Family Restaurant of the Year
Winner: Caldecotte Arms
The Pub at Caldecotte Lake with its famous windmill was purpose built in 1992 and is now a Fayre and Square pub run by Brent and his team. Very enthusiastic nominees .
Asian Restaurant of the Year
Winner: The Don
The 100 capacity Don opened in 2015 near CMK train station and won best newcomer last year. Aki Rahman and his team have worked hard to achieve their 4.5 star tripadvisor rating. According to their website, The Don will leave you feeling satisfied, spoilt and stimulated.
Branded Restaurant of the Year
Wagamama started 25 years ago in London. Their popular restaurant in thecentre MK was joined by Xscape a few years ago. Wagamama’s philosophy is ‘kaizen’, meaning ‘good change’
(won by The Don last year)
Winner: The Anchor (Aspley Guise)
Part of the Epic Pub Company who also run the 185 Watling Street and the new Wheatsheaf in Bow Brickhill. They offer British food, a selection of wines and cocktails, beers and real ales and their chefs create new menus bi-monthly
Restaurant of the Year
Winner: Nonna’s (Woburn Sands)
For the second year running, Nonnas have won both Restaurant and Café
Part 3 - People
Waiter of the Year: Daniel Eduardo (Nonnas)
Waitress of the Year: Caitlin Day (Smoke Shack)
“Best Waitress I’ve Ever Seen”
“Superb waitress who goes the extra mile”
“She's a very polite helpful young girl with good knowledge of the menus and nothing is too much for her if you want something a little extra. Well done and a credit to anyone who employs her.”
Street Food of the Year
Winner: Saf’s Kitchen
Great brand, excellent menu choice, strong social media following. Does pop up kitchens and has takeaways coming out of her house and also teaches.
Chef of the Year - 3rd: Dan Catt – The Swan (Salford)
Chef of the Year - 2nd: Liam Barnes – The Anchor (Aspley Guise)
Chef of the Year - 1st: John Adriaenssens - The Bell And Bear (Emberton)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jean Rush - Villiers Hotel