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2017 Winners

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)


  • The Bull Hotel (Stony Stratford)
  • The Cock Inn (Stony Stratford)
  • Menzies Flitwick Manor Hotel
  • Mercure Parkside House – Last year’s winners
  • Premier Inn (MK Central)
  • Premier Inn (MK South)
  • Swan Revived Hotel
  • Villiers Hotel

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)


  • Doubletree by Hilton
  • Hilton Kent’s Hill
  • Holiday Inn J14
  • Jurys Inn – Last year’s winners
  • Mercure Abbey Hill
  • Moore Place Hotel
  • Premier Inn (Furzton)
  • Whittlebury Hall

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.

2017 Winner Hotel Over

Best Destination or Attraction


  • Bletchley Park
  • Daytona
  • Formula Fast – Last year’s winners
  • iFly
  • The Casino MK
  • Simply Race
  • The Stables
  • Woburn Safari Park

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.

 2017 Winner Attraction

Best Café or Coffee House


  • Bar Bar Black Sheep
  • Bogota Coffee Shop (The Hub)
  • Buskers (Wolverton)
  • Café Bookshop
  • Coffee Boutique (Oxley Park)
  • Howe Park Wood Cafe
  • Nonna's (Woburn Sands) – Last year’s winners
  • Strudwicks (Oldbrook)

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.

 2017 Winner Cafe

Pub of the Year


  • The Black Horse (Woburn)
  • The Caldecotte Arms
  • The Crooked Billet (Newton Longville) – Last year’s winners
  • The Cross Keys (Woolstone)
  • The Prince George (Tattenhoe)
  • The Swan Inn (Milton Keynes Village)
  • The Swan (Salford)
  • The Bell & Bear (Emberton)

Winner: The Cross Keys (Woolstone)

Hannah and her team run the popular, traditional country pub in Woolstone in the heart of Milton Keynes.

 2017 Winner Pub

Bar of the Year


  • All Bar One
  • Be At One
  • Biergarten
  • MK11 Live Music Venue and Sports Bar
  • Missoula
  • Revolucion De Cuba
  • Slug And Lettuce
  • Turtle Bay

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.

 2017 Winner Bar

Awards Part 2 (Food)

Best Local Product (Food)


  • Handmade Orange Chocolates - The Chocolate Mill MK 
  • Pitmaster Barbeque Sauce - Fistful of Spice
  • Apple & Ginger Chutney – The Indian Orchard
  • Deception Hot Sauce - Doctor Augustus
  • Honey with Almonds - Beekeeper Honey
  • Blue Barb Jam – Jam Moo Kow
  • Jamaican Jerk Marinade – Reasons To Season
  • Redlands Goats Cheese – Neneview Dairy

Winner: Honey with Almonds - Beekeeper Honey

The honey softens the almonds and infuses the flavours.  This runny textured honey impressed the judges.

2017 Winner Local Product Food

Best Local Product (Drink) 

Presented by…

  • Featherstone Amber Ale - Hornes Brewery
  • Fenny Popper - Concrete Cow Brewery
  • Gooseberry and Ginger Cordial – Jam Moo Kow
  • Long Apple – Wharf Distillery
  • Rhubarb Gin – Foxdenton
  • Smokin’ Angel Smoked Porter – Leighton Buzzard Brewing Company
  • Spiced Apple Vodka – Made By Alice

Winner: Rhubarb Gin – Foxdenton. 

Judge Phil Fanning was so impressed he will be stocking it at Paris House

 2017 Winner Product Drink

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.

2017 Winner Use Of Produce

Family Restaurant of the Year 


  • Caldecotte Arms
  • Frankie and Benny's
  • Harvester
  • Hungry Horse
  • La Collina
  • MK Buffet Village
  • Prince George (Tattenhoe)
  • Smoke Shack – Last year’s winners

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 .

 2017 Winner Family Restaurant

Asian Restaurant of the Year


  • Calcutta Brasserie
  • The Don
  • The Grange – Last year’s winners
  • Maaya
  • Mastee
  • Naidni
  • Spice Village
  • Taipan

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.

 2017 Winner Asian

Branded Restaurant of the Year


  • Aqua – Last year’s winners
  • Browns
  • Byron
  • Carluccio’s
  • Las Iguanas
  • Pizza Express
  • Prezzo
  • Wagamama

Winner: Wagamama

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’

 2017 Winner Branded

Best Newcomer 

 (won by The Don last year)

Shortlisted Nominees:

  • Antep Kitchen
  • Braai Shack
  • Maaya
  • Melis
  • The Anchor (Aspley Guise)
  • The Biergarten (Wolverton)
  • The Buckingham Inn (Binn Pub and Smokehouse)
  • The Red House Pub (Newport Pagnell)

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

 2017 Winner Best Newcomer

Restaurant of the Year 

Shortlisted Nominees:

  • Akasaka
  • The Bell and Bear (Emberton)
  • The Black Horse (Woburn)
  • Nelson Street (Buckingham)
  • Nonnas (Woburn Sands) – Last year’s winners
  • The Swan Inn (Milton Keynes Village)
  • The Swan (Salford)
  • Woburn Brasserie

Winner: Nonna’s (Woburn Sands)

For the second year running, Nonnas have won both Restaurant and Café

 2017 Winner Restaurant of the Year

Part 3 - People


Waiter of the Year: Daniel Eduardo (Nonnas)

 2017 Winner Waiter

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.”

2017 Winner Waitress

Street Food of the Year

Shortlisted Nominees:

  • Baja Cantina
  • Bandits
  • Clucking Oinks
  • Good Times Café
  • Saf’s Kitchen
  • Sizzler’s Burger Shack
  • Stu’s Oven
  • Taco Shack
  • Urban Grilla

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.

 2017 Winner Street Food

Chef of the Year - 3rd: Dan Catt – The Swan (Salford)

2017 Winner Chef Third

Chef of the Year - 2nd: Liam Barnes – The Anchor (Aspley Guise)

2017 Winner Chef Second

Chef of the Year - 1st: John Adriaenssens - The Bell And Bear (Emberton)

2017 Winner Chef First

Lifetime Achievement Award:  Jean Rush - Villiers Hotel

2017 Winner Lifetime Achievement

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