The Industry Excellence Awards

To encourage and promote local food-related businesses, the Festival organized for the first time in 2017, the Industry Excellence Awards to recognize and reward the best in our local businesses and to raise the profiles of the eateries. The award categories chosen explored the amazing array of businesses we have in the borough, in terms of exceptional personnel, produce and ambience and to provide a benchmark for excellence.

The glitzy Awards Evening was on Sunday 4th June 2017 where over 100 people gathered at the luxurious East Close Country Hotel for an amazing evening. Lesley Waters, the Festival’s Patron, presented the Awards which were in a range of categories listed below together with the winners.

If you own or manage a food-related business in Christchurch and think you offer something special, then do get in touch with us. Click here and send us an email about your business and we will be in touch. The next awards will be taking place in Spring 2019.

Pancake Race

Back in February the Food Festival organised a bunch of tossers getting together to have a flippin’ good day!

On Shrove Tuesday, the hotly contested Annual Pancake Race was held on the Bowling Green of the Kings Arms Hotel with 13 teams of businesses running relays with four in a team, as well as local chefs competing against each other.

The business team winners were Filer Knapper Accountants

The fastest chef was Pawel Siusta of the Captain’s Club Hotel.

President’s Award

Mary Reader, the President of the Christchurch Food Festival was delighted to have presented an award to a lady who has worked tirelessly over the past 18 years of the Festival with helping with Kids’ Kitchen as well as other aspects of the Festival’s Charity, the Education Trust.  She is someone who always goes beyond that which is required whilst being irresolutely cheerful, even when under pressure.  Mary and everyone connected to the Festival felt that she was a very worthwhile winner.


Gill McCormick

Best Coffee in Christchurch of the Year

With the boom in café culture these days you can’t walk down any high street without passing a coffee shop. At the top end of this market, specialist baristas create and serve the best coffee in Christchurch. Mystery shoppers were sent to all establishments where they sampled different coffees but all were judged by the same criteria.  Everything was considered from the quality of the coffee, the interaction with staff, the ambience of the venue and the overall experience.


Mocha Turtle at Purewell Electric

The Friendliest Welcome of the Year

This award is to recognise and show appreciation to individuals who have impressed with their level of service. Making guests feel welcome, relaxed from the start of the customers’ journey right through to when they say goodbye, leaving them with the perfect impression of their visit every time.


Loch & Quay

Outside Dining Experience of the Year

Outside dining in Christchurch is pretty special, there are plenty of sun trapped terraces enjoying excellent waterside or rural views, with many kitted out with patio heaters, comfy sofas, retractable roofs and canopies so you can enjoy al fresco drinks or a bite to eat and above all, a fabulous dining experience whatever the weather.


The Boathouse

Afternoon Tea Experience of the Year

Regional rivalry and how you take your cream tea is defining the best way to eat one of the nation’s favourite dishes. The utterly indulgent and extraordinarily enjoyable experience of an afternoon tea is a common denominator of a wide range of catering establishments.

Here in Christchurch we have so many excellent examples, that the mystery judges had their work cut out to choose the best!


The Upper Desk at

Christchurch Harbour Hotel

Independent Catering Retailer of the Year

To reflect changes in British food culture, new ideas and trends, this award celebrates innovation as Christchurch looks to its foodie future.

Customers are looking to make changes to their diets and lifestyle in order to improve their health as well as acknowledging the important social and environmental impact on food production. As such many are choosing organic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets.


Pure Cuisine

Food or Drinks Producer of the Year

This award is about people and businesses skillfully producing, delicious products made in Christchurch with dedication and the very best ingredients.


Pothecary Gin

Bartender of the Year

This category is all about cocktails and who can take all of the elements of mixology and customer service to a new level producing excellence in cocktails.

Following mystery shopper judging, the grand final for this award took place on Sunday 7th May at the Food Festival weekend and was judged by a representative from Diageo in association with the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild in front of a live audience.


Lilly Hurst

from the Kitchen at the

Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa

Hospitality Personality of the Year

Staff are one of the greatest assets of any business. Passion, dedication and a reputation for great customer service is exactly what this award is all about. This award goes to someone who always delivers above and beyond the call of duty.


Niloofar Hoy

of the Captain’s Club Hotel

Bar Venue of the Year

The bar and cocktail scene is booming and Christchurch is lucky enough to be spoilt for choice with bars and skilled bartenders.

Once again the Festival’s mystery shoppers had the tough task of objectively judging all the entrants, and with a range of criteria, choosing the best in their opinion.



What Now?


Our demonstration events are yet to be finalised, please check back closer to May.