Members of the local produce scheme The New Forest Marque took centre stage at awards ceremonies last week celebrating the best food and drink businesses.
Lyburn Farm, Landford, was honoured in the International Cheese Awards, receiving Bronze for both its Lightly Oak Smoked and Old Winchester Extra Mature Cheese.
Meanwhile Matthew Tomkinson, of the Montagu Arms hotel, Beaulieu, was named Hotel Chef of the Year (fewer than 250 covers) at the industry’s prestigious Hotel Catey Awards in London.
Marque members also claimed a total of eight honours in the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards at The Elvetham Hotel in Hartley Wintney last Wednesday (25 November):
- Best Farm Shop Winner: Lisa’s Larder, Keyhaven; Highly Commended: Hockey’s Farm Shop, Fordingbridge
- Customer Service Award Winner: Cambium Restaurant at Careys Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst
- Food Product of the Year Winner: Stoney Cross Cheese, Lyburn Farm, Landford; Highly Commended: Chocolate by Miss Witt, Sway
- Best Local Supplier/Producer of the Year Winner: New Forest Spring Water Ltd, Fordingbridge; Highly Commended: Tatchbury Manor Farm, Winsor
- Best Hampshire Menu Highly Commended: The Pig Restaurant & Hotel, Brockenhurst.
The following day (26 November) saw another six Marque businesses recognised at the New Forest Business Partnership’s Brilliance in Business Awards.
The Award winners and runners-up at the ceremony at Careys Manor, Brockenhurst, were:
- Best Sustainable Business – New Forest Aromatics, near Brockenhurst • Best Contribution to the New Forest Community – Winner: Handmade New Forest, New Milton; Runner –up: Woodlander Hoburne, Bashley • Best Training and Development – Greenclose Hotels (Careys Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst, and The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu) • Business of the Year – Greenclose Hotels (Careys Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst, and The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu) • Best New Business – Runner-up: Harley Sweet Marshmallows, Lymington.
Jane Overall, New Forest Marque Chairman, said there are currently 150 members in the scheme with businesses only allowed to use the trademarked symbol if they meet stringent criteria.
She said: ‘The food, drink and hospitality scene in the New Forest is really exceptional, as the number of awards received by our members proves.
‘I would like to sincerely congratulate our hard-working producers, retailers and restaurateurs who not only provide first-class food, drink and customer service, but through their businesses are supporting our precious New Forest landscape.’
You can meet a number of New Forest Marque businesses at the New Forest Christmas Fair this Saturday and Sunday (5 and 6 December) at New Park, Brockenhurst, from 10am to 4pm.