The 2015 Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards - the shortlists
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:05 11 April 2016
The judges of Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life's Food and Drink Awards have revealed their shortlist for this year's contest. The glamorous black tie awards night will be at Manchester's Midland Hotel on October 26th
Lancashire Life Restaurant of the Year
The Art School Restaurant, Liverpool
Chef Paul Askew is doing remarkable things in this quirky former children’s home and getting rave reviews for bold new dishes such as Tiramisu of Filey crab, with papaya, mango and mascarpone. He’s also a great champion of region produce.
1 Sugnall Street, Liverpool, L7 7EB
Tel: 0151 230 8600, www.theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk
Bertrams, The Woodland Spa, Burnley
Cutting edge modern dishes meet retro recipes in this striking building in the countryside near Burnley. It’s based in a modern spa with stunning views over Pendle Hill but it is imaginative dishes like toffee popcorn that has them coming back for more.
Within Crow Wood Leisure, Royle Lane, Burnley, Lancashire, BB12 0RT
Tel: 01282 471 913, www.thewoodlandspa.com
Quite Simply French, Lancaster
Passion, attention to detail and ‘not taking ourselves too seriously’ are the attributes that make this quayside bistro such a success story, according to the chefs who reckon they’ve made over 50,000 Belgian white chocolate cheesecakes since opening.
27a St Georges Quay, Lancaster, LA1 1RD
Tel: 01524 843 199, quitesimplyfrench.co.uk
Cheshire Hotel Restaurant of the Year
Restaurant One Eighty, Best Western Plus Pinewood on Wilmslow
Executive head chef Colin Starkey’s innovative menus championing the best of local and seasonal produce - he likes most suppliers to be within 40 miles of his kitchen - are well on the way to realising the owners’ ambition to establish a destination restaurant in this charmingly set hotel in a spot convenient for Manchester Airport and the West Coast Main Line.
Wilmslow Road, Handforth, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 3LF
Tel 01625 529211 www.pinewood-hotel.co.uk
Simon Radley at the Grosvenor, Chester
One of the most respected chefs in the country, Simon Radley - after whom the hotel’s famous Arkle restaurant was renamed in recognition of his professional standing - has retained the 150 year old Grosvenor’s coveted Michelin Star since 1990. The restaurant also boasts four AA Rosettes - richly deserved by a team producing superb standards of the culinary arts.
The Chester Grosvenor, Eastgate, Chester, CH1 1LT,
Tel: 01244 324024 www.chestergrosvenor.com/simon-radley-restaurant
The Lawns, Thornton Hall Hotel, Wirral
Liverpool-born Matt Worswick, youngest chef to gain a Michelin Star in Scotland while at the Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, is now producing stunningly bold menus served in one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the north of England and attracting rave reviews. Still only 27 and with three AA Rosettes already under his belt, ambition here shows no signs of diminishing.
The Lawns, Thornton Hall Hotel, Neston Road, Thornton Hough, Wirral,
Tel: 0151 336 3938CH63 1JF www.thorntonhallhotel.com/lawns.html
Lancashire Life Hotel Restaurant of the Year
Lancashire’s Michelin-starred restaurant has had a complete makeover along with the rest of this famous country house hotel but the quality of the cooking hasn’t changed. Outstanding food and service from Nigel Haworth, Craig Bancroft, Lisa Allen and the team.
Northcote Road, Langho, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB6 8BE
01254 240 555, www.northcote.com
The Orangery, The Spa Hotel, Wrea Green
The Ribby Hall Spa Hotel was a prize winner in last year’s awards but they haven’t rested on their laurels. They’ve followed up by opening The Orangery, another beautifully designed outlet for the exceptional skills of head chef Michael Noonan.
Ribby Hall Village, Ribby Road, Wrea Green, near Blackpool, Lancashire PR4 2PR
Tel: 01772 671 111, www.ribbyhall.co.uk/the-spa-hotel
Mitton Hall Hotel, Whalley
The food coming from the Paul Dugdale’s kitchens has become noted for the quality of produce obtained and the flair and imagination used to create great flavours served up in historic surroundings unparalleled in the county.
Mitton Road, Mitton, Near Whalley, Lancashire, BB7 9PQ~
Tel: 01254 826 544, www.mittonhallhotel.co.uk
Cheshire Life Restaurant of the Year
Chef’s Table, Chester
Tucked away in an alleyway between the Cathedral and Northgate Street, this independent restaurant has won a legion of admirers since it launched in April last year. One diners’ poll placed it third in the national top 100, recognition of Liam McKay and Tom Hughes’ exceptional talent, dedication to locality and season and astonishing value for money.
Music Hall Passage, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2EU,
Tel: 01244 40 30 40 www.chefstablechester.co.uk
Sticky Walnut, Hoole
It maybe off the tourist beat but droves of in-the-know foodies make a beeline for this culinary gem set in the midst of a backstreet terrace in Chester’s quiet neighbour. Chef-patron Gary Usher and his exuberantly enthusiastic young team work wonders with top quality ingredients handled with brilliantly innovative skill.
11 Charles Street, Hoole, Chester, CH2 3AZ
Tel: 01244 400 400 www.stickywalnut.com
The Coast, Tarporley
Veteran Anglo-Italian maestro John Thompson, a key player in the development of San Carlo’s phenomenally successful Cicchetti restaurants, leads the kitchen brigade at this splendidly-appointed bar-restaurant - the poshest beach hut you’ll ever see - and lends an assured, authentic Mediterranean slant to some great fish and seafood dishes.
67 High Street, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 0DP
Tel: 01829 730785, www.thecoast.uk.com
Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year
Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland
Chef-patron Stosie Madi and her business partner Kathy Smith have brought the good times back to this lovely rural inn taking the area’s rich bounty of produce and producing modern, sophisticated food in a wonderfully relaxed setting.
Newton-in-Bowland, Nr Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3DY
Tel: 01200 446236, www.parkersarms.co.uk
Wagon & Horses, Lancaster
Every neighbourhood should have a pub like this - excellent beer, convivial surroundings and great food that you don’t always expect from a ‘local.’ Visitors to this riverside hostelry rave about the excellent staff led by a welcoming landlord and landlady.
27 St. Georges Quay, Lancaster, LA1 1RD
Tel; 01524 846094 www.wagonandhorseslancaster.co.uk
The Derby Arms, Longridge
One of the big projects by the Seafood Pub Company was to turn this once-loved country inn into a successful dining pub with rooms. Fish comes in daily from Fleetwood and the kitchen team create a wide range of imaginative and classic dishes.
Chipping Road, Thornley, Longridge, PR3 2NB,
Tel: 01772 782370 seafoodpubcompany.com
Cheshire Dining Pub of the Year
Alvanley Arms, Cotebrook
With its venerable oak beams, shire horse pictures and regalia and superbly kept cask beers, this 16th Century former coaching inn is as perfect a country pub as you could imagine and a warm and welcoming setting for enjoying excellent food. Paul Hardy and his team offer a textbook range of pub classics, grills and seafood specialities with a fine wine list to go with them.
Cotebrook, Near Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9DS
Tel: 01829 760 200, www.alvanleyarms.co.uk
Fox and Hounds, Sproston
Huge investment has seen this rundown 18th Century wayside inn between Holmes Chapel and Middlewich transformed and extended into a bustling destination pub-restaurant with delightful gardens and regular live music. Top quality dishes served in very generous portions - the pies are epic - are extremely popular, but staff, marshalled by general manager Mark Huntley, cope with aplomb.
Holmes Chapel Road, Sproston, Cheshire, CW4 7LW
Tel: 01606 841180, foxandhoundssproston.co.uk
The Dog Inn, Over Peover
Opened as the New Inn in 1860, the Dog has been serving the folk of this pretty village ever since - and more recently enthusiasts from far and wide who delight in its homely charm, all lovingly restored, and highly regarded hospitality. The menu offers a range of excellent seasonal dishes and pub classics alongside a selection of cask conditioned ales - many of them brewed locally - and well-chosen wines.
Wellbank Lane, Over Peover, Knutsford, WA16 8UP
Tel: 01625 861421 www.thedogpeover.co.uk
Manchester Restaurant of the Year
Bookie turned developer Jim Ramsbottom’s south Manchester branch of his Castlefield original - named after his uncle Albert - is immensely popular for its prime location, enviable al fresco dining space and eclectic modern British menus. The quality of food here is always tip top, service is slick and friendly and value for money - one of the key aims - is excellent.
120-122 Barlow Moor Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2PU
Tel: 0161 434 8289, albertsdidsbury.com
Chandelier-hung glamour on an epic scale provides the backdrop for this South American churrascaria featuring tableside carving of 15 different prime cuts of superb rotary-grilled meat. But there’s more to it than that; the Fazenda journey starts at the magnificent salad bar featuring a cornucopia of Brazilian before the knife-wielding passadores pay your table a visit.
The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AP
Tel: 0161 834 1219, fazenda.co.uk/manchester
Hawksmoor Manchester, Deansgate
Fashioned from Manchester’s Victorian civil court building in Deansgate, the Hawksmoor is an unashamed beacon for carnivores where steak is taken very, very seriously indeed. The 1950s ambience and the quality of the menu’s range of classic cuts have been raved about by critics and the Observer was moved to name the restaurant for providing the ‘best Sunday lunch in the UK’.
184 – 186 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WB
Tel: 0161 836 6980, thehawksmoor.com/locations/manchester
Lakeland Dining Excellence of the Year
Porto Restaurant, Bowness
Modern British is combined with some of the best influences around the Mediterranean to create impressive food from local produce. Porto is small and friendly but it has a big reputation among clientele for punching above its weight in the food stakes.
3 Ash Street, Bowness on Windermere, LA23 3EB
Tel: 015394 48242 www.porto-restaurant.co.uk
Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside
Northern European cooking at its best from a young but skilled team of chefs who forage most of the greenery you find on your plate. It’s modern in approach but with traditional values and the food is quite exceptional.
Lake Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0AD
Tel: 015394 22012, lakeroadkitchen.co.uk
The Old Stamp House, Ambleside
This was the fine dining restaurant Ambleside had been waiting for. Based in Wordsworth’s old place of work, chef Ryan Blackburn and his brother, Craig, uses outstanding ingredients to create heavenly dishes such as rose veal cheek with peas, broad beans, oyster mushrooms and barley
Church Street, Ambleside, LA22 0BU
Tel: 01229 717230, www.oldstamphouse.com
Lakeland Hotel Restaurant of the Year
Best Western plus Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
Confident cooking, well-presented and served with skill by executive chef Justin Wood’s and the team based in the recently refurbished Greenhouse Restaurant. The sophisticated decor is as striking as food such as the Cumbrian tasting menu.
Castle Green Lane, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6RG
Tel: 01539 734000 www.castlegreen.co.uk
Linthwaite House Hotel, Windermere
Once visited, you keep going back. This is fine dining without fuss concentrating on modern British food created by talented young chef Chris O’Callaghan. The restaurant has been listed in Michelin, awarded 3 AA Rosettes and has a ‘high 5’ in the Good Food Guide.
Crook Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3JA
Tel: 015394 88600, www.linthwaite.com
The Samling, Windermere
One of the great dining rooms in the Lake District, holding a Michelin star. They serve many dishes that have worked their way through the Samling’s ‘development kitchen’ and have a the kitchen garden which swaps seeds with restaurants around the world.
Ambleside Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1LR
Tel: 015394 31922, www.thesamlinghotel.co.uk
North Wales Dining Excellence of the Year
Porth Tocyn Hotel, Abersoch
Opened in 1948 this charming country house has been a destination for the discerning for far longer than Abersoch has been a popular resort. Set amidst beautiful headland gardens enjoying views across Cardigan Bay to Snowdonia beyond, the restaurant has been an uninterrupted ever present in the Good Food Guide for its fine cooking of superb local ingredients for 58 years.
Bwlch Tocyn, Abersoch, Pwllheli, LL53 7BU
Tel: 01758 713 303, porthtocynhotel.co.uk
Bodysgallen Hall Hotel, Llandudno
Boasting a history spanning 600 years and a stunning setting, this National Trust-owned hotel has been showered with accolades for its three-AA Rosette dining, recently being named AA Hotel of the Year for Wales and listed third in the Times’ UK Top 20 restaurants with rooms. Recently returned head chef John Williams and his team have also achieved Bodysgallen’s best ever Good Food Guide score.
The Royal Welsh Way, Llandudno, North Wales, LL30 1RS
Tel: 01492 584466, www.bodysgallen.com
Glynne Arms, Hawarden
Built in 1812 and named after the Glynne family into which Victorian prime minister William Gladstone married, this delightful village inn is steeped in history. The kitchen sources much of its wonderful food from the bounteous Hawarden Estate nearby, still in the ownership of the Gladstone family, and other local trusted Flintshire and Cheshire suppliers.
Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3NS,
Tel: 01244 569988, www.theglynnearms.co.uk
North West Independent Retailer of the Year
Godfrey Williams, Sandbach
With a traditional shop located within its original grade II listed building next to the town’s Saxon Crosses, this award-winning delicatessen, taking pride in selling a wide and varied range of the finest quality produce from around the world is one of Cheshire’s leading epicurean destinations. Family run since 1875, the business dedicates itself to staying faithful to its customers’ needs.
Corner House, The Square, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 1AP
Tel: 01270 762817, www.godfreycwilliams.co.uk
Founded in Blackpool in 1876, the Booths name now epitomises a determination to compete with national rivals on quality as opposed to just price in all of its 32 stores spanning Lancashire, Lakeland, Cheshire and Yorkshire. The mission statement to sell the best quality goods - many lines sourced locally - in shops staffed by first class assistants has built formidable customer loyalty.
256/270 Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 9HD
Tel: 01772 716027, www.booths.co.uk
Grantham’s Fine Food & Wine, Alderley Edge
Not only offering 150 individually selected artisan cheeses from England and the continent together with home cooked meats and charcuterie, bacon and a range of sausages, local and organic produce and freshly baked bread, this award winning business also stocks fine wines to go with it. There’s a Greek delicatessen too, offering gourmet products from small specialist producers.
68 Heyes Lane, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK9 7HY
Tel: 01625 583286, www.granthamsfinefood.com
North West Food Product of the Year, Cheshire Life Food Hero, Lancashire Life Food Hero and Cheshire and Lancashire Chef of the Year have no shortlists and will be announced on the night
Keep an eye out on twitter for the latest updates on the hashtag #lifefoodawards