Food Awards 2017 – Part 3, small independents

WadeandRockandFood Awards 2017

Awards part 1 focused on our top restaurants, part 2 focused on our favourite pubs and now part 3 focuses on four small independent food providers that gave us something special during 2017.

Lynwood & Co, Lechlade – best breakfast

We visited Lynwood & Co after seeing it named in the Guardian’s 50 best breakfast places in the UK. The coffee is sublime and, with bread made by Max Abbott of Sourdough Revolution,their bacon sandwich is unbelievably good. Lynwood Review

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Sourdough bacon sandwich

Beadlam Grange Farmshop, Beadlam – best cheese

A great cheese counter filled with carefully selected cheeses and staffed by people who really know a lot about the goods they are selling.  You can taste before you buy and you are unlikely to be disappointed.  Introduced us to Black Cheddar! Beadlam Review

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Black Sticks Blue, Barncliffe Brie, Mrs Bell’s Ewes Milk Blue and Charcoal Black Cheddar

Mannion & Co, Helmsley – best coffee and cake

Beautiful coffee and fabulous, freshly baked artisan made cakes.  The cakes are often decorated with fresh fruit and interesting herbs that put them on a level above the competition. Mannion & Co also gave us the best pasta dish of 2017! Mannion Review

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Blueberry & thyme frangipane tart and a cappucinno

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House – best attached tea room

Usually when we visit an historic house and/or gardens the cafe or tea room seems to be only there to provide basic sustenance.  However at Blackwell they have an Arts & Crafts approach to food with a focus on quality, freshly prepared dishes.  We loved it! Blackwell Review

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Warm salad of pulled ham, orange & fennel served with Puy lentils, toasted pumpkin seeds, mixed leaves, honey mustard dressing and toasted homemade bread

Here’s hoping that 2018 gives us as much food joy as 2017!

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2017 Food Awards – Part 2, Pubs

WadeandRockandFood Awards 2017

The WadeandRockandFood Awards 2017 follow another year of dining out in hundreds of restaurants, pubs and cafes. The awards aim to celebrate the very best eating experiences we have had over the last 12 months. Awards 2017 part 1 focused on restaurants, part 2 focuses on pubs and part 3 will focus on small independent food providers.

In 2015 we found several sensational pubs. In both 2016 and 2017 we have not been quite so fortunate – with many places falling short on imagination and quality. However each of our top 3 pubs, shown below in alphabetical order, are definitely worthy of their place.

King William, Bath

Not in the most fashionable part of Bath but well worth the short walk from the town centre.  Fabulous beers on tap and interesting food that is beautifully prepared.  Informal, friendly atmosphere and great service. King Review

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Spiced beef brisket, red cabbage jam and shallot
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Pan roasted hake, crushed turnips and Bromham carrots
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Cinnamon and pumpkin creme diplomat with golden syrup ice cream and candied pecan nuts

Punch Bowl, Crossthwaite

Cumbrian hospitality at its very best.  Warm, welcoming and beautifully prepared food presented with style and good humour. Should be near the top of the list for any foodie visiting the lake district. Punch review

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Stornaway black pudding with bubble & squeak and a crispy hen’s egg
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Braised beef cheek with horseradish, wild mushrooms, creamed potatoes & borderlaise sauce
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Lemon tart with damson sorbet

 Red Lion, East Chisenbury

Our favourite gastropub was in peak form when we visited a few weeks ago.  Guy & Brittany Manning deliver dishes that are always good but often exceptional.  We’ve been dining here since before they earned their first Michelin star …and that was back in 2013.  Lion review 

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Scallop & black pudding tortellono with swede purée, pickled pears and chicken jus
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Pan-fried halibut with celeriac purée, poached Cox’s apples, Burbage shiitakes and a Noilly Prat beurre blanc
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Chocolate bark, poached pear with a hazelnut praline ice cream, home-made granola with a rum punch sorbet, chocolate creméux and a citrus Genoese sponge with apple & créme fraîche

Food Awards – Part 3, on small independent food providers, will follow in the next few days.

2017 Food Awards – Part 1, Restaurants

WadeandRockandFood Awards 2017

The WadeandRockandFood Awards 2017 follow another year of dining out in hundreds of restaurants, pubs and cafes. The awards aim to celebrate the very best eating experiences we have had over the last 12 months. Part 1 will focus on restaurants, part 2 on pubs and part 3 on small independent food providers.

We have had an extraordinary year in terms of visiting restaurants of the highest quality. As usual, we have narrowed it down to 3 UK restaurants that we loved the most, plus an award for the best international eating experience. The top UK restaurants are listed in alphabetical order followed by the winner of the international award.

UK

Arras, York

Arras is relatively new and we hope it continues to thrive… as it produces very interesting dishes. Balancing a combination of flavours is the key when being inventive and this kitchen contains people with very finely tuned palates. The balance of flavours often borders on perfection! Arras review

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Grilled mackerel, brassicas and apple
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Braised pork cheek with fermented rye grain, sauerkraut jelly and mustard sauce
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Cinnamon crumble, yoghurt sorbet, orange, orange jelly, red berry jus, vanilla and ricotta mousse

Marcus, Belgravia

When you visit a place that has two Michelin stars it is impossible not to have very high expectations.  At Marcus they delivered food that met and exceeded those expectations and the level of service and attention to detail was extraordinary. Marcus review

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Scallop, curry & apple with a roast beef dressing
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Herdwick lamb, crispy breast, pea, mint
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Warm chocolate, cacao, salted caramel ice cream

The Woodspeen, Woodspeen

The Woodspeen is the only establishment in any category to have appeared every year in our Awards.  Their success is due to the excellent food and service that they consistently deliver every single time we visit. Wood Review 1 Wood Review 2

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Quail breast and crispy leg with chicory & orange jam and a cauliflower puree
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Roasted cod with pancetta, cavolo nero, girolles, onions and a cep puree
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Tarte of fig & hazelnut, fig leaf ice cream

International

The Artist, Bucharest

The Artist gave us one of the best eating experiences we have had anywhere in the world.  Extraordinary food presented in exceptional ways – almost like a culinary theatre! Artist review

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White cod, zucchini, cauliflower, eggplant and curry
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Whipped brie, granola and orange gel
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Spoons of salted caramel, chocolate & coconut, raspberry cone & berries, strawberry & white chocolate

The WadeandRockandFood Awards parts 2 and 3 will follow over the next few days.

2016 Food Awards – part 3

WadeandRockandFood Awards 2016

Awards part 1 focused on our top restaurants, part 2 focused on our favourite pubs and now part 3 focuses on four small independent food providers that gave us something special during 2016.

Eastward House, Orkney – best breakfast

You choose in advance from a range of three course gourmet breakfasts with each course designed to deliver either vitamins, fibre or protein. It is a breakfast experience like no other! East review

Jolly Nice, Frampton Mansell – best burger & beer

To create the fabulous Jolly Nice burger they use rare breed shorthorn beef and other high quality local produce. It can be enjoyed with any one of a range of bottled craft ales. Jolly review

Toast House, Ilkley – best coffee & cake

Great place to relax with fabulous coffee. But it is the cake that puts Toast House at the top of the pile! Every cake has been home-made with skill and love. Toast review

Severn & Wye Smokery, Chaxhill – best fish

Suppliers to some of the finest chefs and foodstores in the UK. Their small restaurant has a menu of fresh fish, smoked fish and shellfish which they cook beautifully. A must for fish lovers! Severn review – Jan 16 Severn review – Jul 16

Here’s hoping that 2017 gives us as much food joy as 2016!

2016 Food Awards – Part 2

WadeandRockandFood Awards 2016

The WadeandRockandFood Awards 2016 follow another year of dining out in hundreds of restaurants, pubs and cafes. The awards aim to celebrate the very best eating experiences we have had over the last 12 months. Awards 2016 part 1 focused on restaurants, part 2 focuses on pubs and part 3 will focus on small independent food providers.

In 2015 we found several sensational pubs. In 2016 we have not been quite so fortunate – with many places falling short on imagination and quality. However, our top 3 pubs are all worthy of their place.

Devonshire Arms, Long Sutton

A former hunting lodge set in a pretty Somerset village. Has the feel of a traditional village pub but the food is of a far higher standard than you find in most village pubs. Devon review

Hand & Flowers, Marlow

You may have to wait months to get a table at the only UK pub with 2 Michelin stars…but it is worth it. A clever combination of exceptional service and high end pub food. Hand review

Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn

A free house that always has a good range of beers. The Three Tuns is a lively village pub that creates some beautiful plates of food and it is simply a great place to dine with friends. Tuns review – Apr 16 Tuns review – Dec 16

Part 3 will follow in the next few days.

2016 Food Awards – Part 1

WadeandRockandFood Awards 2016

The WadeandRockandFood Awards 2016 follow another year of dining out in hundreds of restaurants, pubs and cafes. The awards aim to celebrate the very best eating experiences we have had over the last 12 months. Awards 2016 part 1 will focus on restaurants, part 2 on pubs and part 3 on small independent food providers.

We have had an extraordinary year in terms of visiting restaurants of the highest quality. As usual, we have narrowed it down to 3 UK restaurants that we loved the most, plus a new award for the best international eating experience. The top UK restaurants are listed in alphabetical order followed by the winner of the international award.

UK

Aizle, Edinburgh

This place creates a 5 course menu from monthly ‘harvest’ ingredients that are all at the height of quality and seasonality. They create dishes and cocktails that are sensational. Aizle Review

Carters, Moseley

3,5,or 7 course set lunch menus cleverly balance big flavours and a variety of textures. It was a joy to find such a diamond of a restaurant in a relatively unassuming suburb of Birmingham! Cart Review

The Woodspeen, Woodspeen

This beautiful airy restaurant was featured in the 2015 awards and we couldn’t resist going back. They spoil diners with exceptional service and consistently fabulous food. Wood Review – Jan 16. Wood Review – Aug 16.

International

Kodbyens Fiskebar, Copenhagen

Skilful kitchen teamwork helps to create fish dishes and desserts that are fantastic to look at and even better to eat! Despite the restaurant being very lively, the service is still superb. Kod Review

Parts 2 and 3 will follow over the next few days.

2015 Awards – Part III

Over the past year we have visited almost 200 places looking for the very best eating experiences. The WadeandRockandFoodAwards (part I) were made to our top three pubs and (part II) to our top three restaurants. Our third set of awards go to four small independent outlets that gave us something special during 2015.

Soulshine, Bridport – best breakfast. A cool and funky cafe with great coffee, fabulous bread and perfect poached eggs. They can delight veggies and carnivores with equal skill. Soul Review

Eat Wild, Cirencester – best burger & beer. Their Clown Killer burger is extraordinary and they serve Deya Brewery’s Steady Rolling Man which is a perfect match in quality. Wild Review1 Wild Review2

The Grumpy Badger, Bradford-on-Avon – best coffee & cake. Moist, freshly baked cakes with great inventive flavours – so good we were forced to blog about it! Badger Review

Leverton & Halls, Bournville – best local & organic. Bustling cafe & deli that serves both traditional and more exotic dishes using fresh beautiful produce. L&H Review

During 2016 we aim to return to some of the small independents we have loved and to visit numerous other places looking for fabulous food.