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Gourmet Britain Awards 2010

Gourmet Britain Awards 2010

Wednesday 7th April 2010

Best Restaurant: Le Champignon Sauvage, 24-26 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2AQThese premises, occupying two small houses on the fringes of Cheltenham, house what has been for many years one of Britain's top restaurants. The proprietors David and Helen Everitt-Matthias must sometimes wonder how much further their honest-style of cooking, based on French traditions, can be stretched without reaching its culinary limits. Indeed many of today's young bucks could do worse than visit here, when they would see that you can eat extremely well and with more 'honest' flavours without the need of gimmicks and modern chemistry. While their wine mark-ups are very fair.

Best Ethnic Restaurant: Madhu's, 39 South Road, Southall, Greater London, UB1 1SW The Anand family have been drawing in the crowds at their top-class Punjabi restaurant for over 30 years, and the third generation of the family are now firmly involved. The cooking style came by way of Kenya, but this has only given dishes added interest. Going as a party is the best way to sample their delights, as some sharing dishes are designed for six people; their freshly baked breads aren't to be missed, while vegetarians will have a field day.

Best Gastro Pub: The Highwayman, Nether Burrow, Nr. Carnforth, Lancashire, LA6 2RJ This excellent gastro-pub, part of the Ribble Valley Group, stands out in a competitive market. Under the experienced guidance of top-chef Nigel Haworth, you can experience carefully-sourced and well-cooked food in an unpretentious atmosphere, perhaps with a pint of real ale – if the mood suits.

Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Demuths; 2 North Parade Passage, Off Abbey Green, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1NX An excellent and long-standing Vegetarian restaurant, offering plenty for vegans. While not going down the modern minimalist route, they offer really tasty dishes which should satisfy any carnivore.

Best Café/Budget Restaurant: Brown's Brasserie & Bars, Branches in Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, London (6), Oxford and Windsor – see our website for details. This year we have given this award to a small chain, who in our experience offer the consistency of an owner-run operation. They have, for too long, been virtually ignored by food guides too pompous for chains to be considered. They started in Brighton in 1973, being seemingly based on the then successful Parsons in London's Fulham Road. But although there have been changes of ownership, the initial qualities of good brasserie food in pleasant surroundings, at a price making family meals realistic, plus efficient and friendly service - have been maintained. Anyone thinking of starting a similar operation, could do worse than use Browns as their benchmark.

Best Independent Food Shop: Neal's Yard Dairy, 17 Shorts Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9AB Since its conception in 1979, Randolph Hodgson's cheese shop – just specialising in artisan varieties from Britain & Ireland – has set the standards for others to follow. Indeed they have, as a spell working here is almost a requisite requirement for anyone wishing to open their own cheese shop. A visit here – or to their branch at 6 Park Street near Borough Market – is a must for any foodie visiting London.

Best Mail Order Food Supplier: British Fine Foods, Horsted Keynes Industrial Park, Cinder Hill Lane, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex, RH17 7BA A young company, that's quickly established a reputation for supplying some of Britain's best food by mail order. They have gathered some of Britain’s best artisan producers onto one website. What's on offer is a constantly expanding range extending from unusual Grocery & Deli items through Cheeses and Cheeseboard 'Selections' to top-quality Meat & Poultry – mostly fully-prepared for simple finishing at home. A look at their website is recommended for a full picture.  

Best Artisan Producer: Laverstoke Farm, Laverstoke, Overton, Hampshire, RG25 3DR Ex Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter runs his 2,500 acre estate on organic/biodynamic principles – rearing everything from chickens through beef, lamb and pigs to water buffalo. The quality of the resultant meat is deservedly heaped with praise, and can be bought from the farm shop – which is worth a special trip - while some is offered by Mail Order.

Best Hotel: Chewton Glen Hotel, Christchurch Road, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 5QS This impressive hotel, peacefully-set overlooking croquet lawns and the surrounding countryside, has set the highest standards since being opened by the Skans in 1966. Although now under new ownership, their excellent standards have been maintained – and facilities improved still further. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff , while you can relax in their spa, swim (indoors or outside), play golf or tennis and dine in their top-class restaurant.

Best Hotel Chain: Best - Whilst not strictly speaking a chain, but a large group of independently-owned hotels, sharing their marketing. Each has its own character and fills the middle market ideally – both for the private and business customers. This is the second year we have given this award, as the solid nature of what they offer gives value for money on all counts, in an age too full of gimmicks.

Best B & B: Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn & Town House, Castle Street, Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesea, LL58 8AP This is both an excellent restaurant/popular brasserie and very comfortable place to stay, whether you choose the Inn or the adjacent Town House – which offers more seclusion. Little touches like fresh (rather than UHT) milk, locally made shortbread with the hospitality tray – plus top-quality toiletries show their impressive eye for detail. Ideal for exploring the island, then returning for some good food. First rate service underlines an impressive operation. For more information see