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Here are the businesses and staff crowned winners in first West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards by Iliffe Media





Independent business in the borough is “alive, well and thriving” – that’s what the judges have said as the first West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards winners have been revealed.

They described what they found in their search as “delicious, wonderful, warm and welcoming”, as they heaped glowing praise on hospitality businesses and their staff.

They were impressed with quality, service and friendly staff after readers of the Lynn News and Your Local Paper were asked to nominate their hospitality heroes and favourite venues earlier this year in the inaugural Iliffe Media awards.

West Norfolk mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, right, and consort Amani Habaibeh, left, with Sharron Marriott, head of Iliffe Media Group's awards and events (organisation)
West Norfolk mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, right, and consort Amani Habaibeh, left, with Sharron Marriott, head of Iliffe Media Group's awards and events (organisation)
All of the winners at the 2023 West Norfolk Food and Drink AwardsPictures: Ian Burt
All of the winners at the 2023 West Norfolk Food and Drink AwardsPictures: Ian Burt

After a difficult task of sorting through the reader nominations, which totalled almost 400, the winners were announced on Wednesday at a ceremony at Lynn Town Hall attended by West Norfolk Mayor, Margaret Wilkinson.

Alan Taylor, managing director of Iliffe Publishing West Norfolk, thanked the sponsors and judges and said: “I am sure you all agree, as being integral to the hospitality sector in West Norfolk, we have some incredible pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels, chefs and producers of fine food and drink, as good as anywhere else in the county.

“I really do believe we live in an amazing part of the country to live, work and enjoy.”

Alan Taylor, managing director of Iliffe Media's West Norfolk operations
Alan Taylor, managing director of Iliffe Media's West Norfolk operations
The Lynn News and Your Local Paper team - Molly Nicholas, Lucy Carter, Rebekah Chilvers, Kris Johnston, Greg Plummer, Jade Sarsfield and Sue Irving
The Lynn News and Your Local Paper team - Molly Nicholas, Lucy Carter, Rebekah Chilvers, Kris Johnston, Greg Plummer, Jade Sarsfield and Sue Irving

The 10 award categories were sponsored by West Norfolk businesses with Lynn-based Greenyard Frozen the headline sponsor.

Tom Stops, commercial director of Greenyard, said how the firm was delighted to be involved with the inaugural awards and he spoke of Greenyard’s commitment to sustainability and the community.

He said the food industry has a responsibility for sustainability and health in the area and he illustrated how Greenyard tries to put these at the centre of its products in a bid to help people lead healthier lives.

Speaking about the awards he said: “I think we are all aware the food and drink industry has been through a really testing few years and now, more than ever we need to take stock and shine a light on the culinary successes that everyone in this room has achieved.”

Tom Stops, commercial director of Greenyard Frozen
Tom Stops, commercial director of Greenyard Frozen
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards

He said the businesses being celebrated at the ceremony were “responsible for creating excitement in the industry through the food and drink they prepare for us in the local area” and he congratulated all the nominees.

The honours went to Richard Crouch from The Angel at Watlington who was crowned Chef of the Year while Lynn gin distillery WhataHoot was judged the King’s Lynn Hospitality Champion.

Askers Wood Fired Pizzas, of Dersingham, won Street Food/Pop up of the Year; Mem’s Kitchen, of Lynn, bagged the Restaurant of the Year title; Sweet Things Savoury, of Emneth, was the Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year winner and The Old Store at Snettisham was crowned Producer of the Year.

Richard Crouch from The Angel at Watlington who was crowned Chef of the Year - which was sponsored by Barsby Produce - and collected on his behalf by The Angel's owner Emily Phipps
Richard Crouch from The Angel at Watlington who was crowned Chef of the Year - which was sponsored by Barsby Produce - and collected on his behalf by The Angel's owner Emily Phipps
Lynn gin distillery WhataHoot was judged the King's Lynn Hospitality Champion - sponsored by Discover King's Lynn - at the West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, pictured with Discover King's Lynn BID manager Vicky Etheridge, centre
Lynn gin distillery WhataHoot was judged the King's Lynn Hospitality Champion - sponsored by Discover King's Lynn - at the West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, pictured with Discover King's Lynn BID manager Vicky Etheridge, centre

Landymore’s Farm Shop and Tea Room, near Downham, took the honours in the Farm Shop/Deli of the Year category; Lynn’s Rusty Krab Rum Shop and Bar, was Pub/Bar of the Year, Hunstanton Ski Cafe and Bar the Food and Drink Hero winner while the title of Hotel of the Year went to Briarfields, of Titchwell.

In making their decisions, the judges had lots of praise for all the finalists.

Of Mr Crouch the judge said he offered an “incredible choice of menu, not only for food but also for wine with stunning presentation which was almost too good to eat and the flavours were incredible. A fantastic choice of food that you wouldn’t get in an average pub.”

Landymore’s Farm Shop and Tea Room, in Downham Market, took the honours in the Farm Shop/Deli of the Year category, which was sponsored by Pilgrims UK
Landymore’s Farm Shop and Tea Room, in Downham Market, took the honours in the Farm Shop/Deli of the Year category, which was sponsored by Pilgrims UK
Lynn's Rusty Krab Rum Shop and Bar was crowned Pub/Bar of the Year - an award sponsored by Williams Refrigeration
Lynn's Rusty Krab Rum Shop and Bar was crowned Pub/Bar of the Year - an award sponsored by Williams Refrigeration

The Old Store at Snettisham had the “wow factor” with the judge commenting: “The quality and skill that went into the creation of their products did not go unnoticed. They are a work of art both visually and in taste. We all need to eat better quality products with fewer fake ingredients and this organisation offers exactly that.”

WhataHoot’s judge said: “A delicious distillery that shares its passion for quality gin by delivering great quality gins. Their gins offer something a bit different in a busy gin sector, the bottles have real standout and should be enjoyed by more consumers.”

The word “love” above the fireplace in Sweet Things Savoury perfectly epitomised a “café full of heart” and a hidden gem, said the judge.

Sweet Things Savoury, of Emneth, was the Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year winner - a category sponsored by the Lynn News. The winners are pictured with Alan Taylor, managing director of Iliffe Media's West Norfolk operations
Sweet Things Savoury, of Emneth, was the Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year winner - a category sponsored by the Lynn News. The winners are pictured with Alan Taylor, managing director of Iliffe Media's West Norfolk operations
Lynn's Mem's Kitchen won the Restaurant of the Year title, which was sponsored by Prontaprint
Lynn's Mem's Kitchen won the Restaurant of the Year title, which was sponsored by Prontaprint

Nominators commented on its friendly staff, how welcome they were made to feel and how the business went “above and beyond” for customers.

Mem’s Kitchen was praised for its food options with something for everyone served in a “timely fashion” and being good value for money.

The Rusty Krab Rum Shop was described by the category judge as a “great addition” to Lynn and a “great place to have a pre-cinema drink or, on warmer nights, a great spot to sit outside sipping one of their rum-based cocktails”.

Hunstanton Ski Cafe and Bar was the Food and Drink Hero winner - the award was sponsored by Tipsy Teapot
Hunstanton Ski Cafe and Bar was the Food and Drink Hero winner - the award was sponsored by Tipsy Teapot
Hotel of the Year went to Briarfields, of Titchwell - this category was sponsored by Complete Commercial Finance
Hotel of the Year went to Briarfields, of Titchwell - this category was sponsored by Complete Commercial Finance

Hunstanton Ski Café and Bar impressed the judge with its “simple, honest and good portion sizes” and its sense of strong community involvement.

Askers Pizzas was described as a “gorgeous mobile pizzeria” by the judge who sampled its delights at Great Massingham.

Its vintage Citroen van was “truly stunning” and comment was made of its “seamless online ordering system and precise collection slots”.

The menu was described as a “delight for any foodie” and the service as “impeccable”.

Askers Wood Fired Pizzas, of Dersingham, won Street Food/Pop up of the Year, which was sponsored by Pilgrims UK
Askers Wood Fired Pizzas, of Dersingham, won Street Food/Pop up of the Year, which was sponsored by Pilgrims UK
The Old Store at Snettisham was crowned Producer of the Year - an award sponsored by Your Local Paper
The Old Store at Snettisham was crowned Producer of the Year - an award sponsored by Your Local Paper

There was no faulting Landymore’s Farm Shop.

“From the fine product quality, provenance and selection to the care-filled customer service, every element of the shopping experience was best in class.

“I’ve never seen more glorious or more local fresh produce. I’d challenge anyone to find a greater celebration of our region’s farmers and producers – or a more enjoyable shopping experience,” the judge said.

Of Briarfields the judge said: “This hotel is in a beautiful location; it is clean, tidy and full of character. This would be wonderful place to have a break away. The staff are very welcoming, the hotel is dog friendly and it has a play area for children, so it’s suitable for all. The food is great too and we’ll be sure to go back in the winter months for a beautiful dinner by the fires!”

West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards

Competition judges were: Vhari Russell, of The Food Marketing Experts, Alice Ryan of Iliffe Media’s Velvet Magazine, Giles Luckett, independent wine expert, Louise Cummings, specialist food feature writer of Velvet Magazine, Katy Truss, of Fabulous Food Finds, Judith Reynolds, of Alive West Norfolk, Robert Tate, of Appetite Me, Katherine Ebsworth of MARS UK and Chris Couborough, of The Flying Kiwi Inns.

Other finalists were: Chef of the Year (sponsored by Barsby Produce): Jacques Webb-Jones of The Street Restaurant in King’s Lynn.

Street Food / Pop up of the Year (sponsored by Pilgrims UK): The Shake N Bake Stop and Friday Night Club at Bircham Stores and Cafe.

West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
Matthew Biggin, professional toastmaster and MC, and Sharron Marriott, head of Iliffe Media Group's awards and events (organisation), at the West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
Matthew Biggin, professional toastmaster and MC, and Sharron Marriott, head of Iliffe Media Group's awards and events (organisation), at the West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards

Restaurant of the Year (sponsored by Prontaprint): Hunstanton Ski Cafe and Bar.

Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year (sponsored by Lynn News): The Seat Coffee House, Downham Market and Landymore’s Farm Shop and Tea Room, of Downham Market.

Producer of the Year (sponsored by Your Local Paper): WhataHoot and Bramblebee Farms, of Emneth.

Farm Shop/Deli of the Year (sponsored by Pilgrims UK): Norfolk Lavender Farm Shop in Heacham, and Kemps Fruit & Veg, of Hunstanton.

Pub/Bar of the Year (sponsored by Williams Refrigeration): The Anvil Inn, Congham and PM Bars Ltd, of Lynn.

KL1 Radio director Richard Dix
KL1 Radio director Richard Dix
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards
West Norfolk Food and Drink Awards

Food & Drink Hero (sponsored by Tipsy Teapot): Thomas Buck - The Ffolkes, Hillington, and Sweet Things Savoury.

Hotel of the Year (sponsored by Complete Commercial Finance): Bank House Hotel, King’s Lynn and Caley Hall Hotel, Hunstanton.

King’s Lynn Hospitality Champion (sponsored by Discover King’s Lynn): Rusty Krab Rum Shop and Bank House.

Competition networking partner was Grub Club Events, and the broadcast partner was KL1 Radio.



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