The Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards are returning for 2024 after a short hiatus to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions of the food and drink industry. This year’s event is set to be a glittering, cork-popping celebration of the region’s food and drink superstars. The evening will be hosted by Candia McKormack at Hatherley Manor, set in the heart of the countryside on the outskirts of the historic city of Gloucester, on Monday, October 7. The awards, which began life in a small marquee at Beaufort Polo Club in the summer of 2002, will champion the fantastic food and drink businesses alongside the unsung heroes in our region. The wonderful team at Hatherley Manor will be serving a delicious 3-course supper with a cheese course and wine for all to enjoy.

Cotswold Life editor, Sharon Martin expressed the importance of recognising and honouring exceptional individuals and businesses in the food and drink industry: ‘We created these awards 22 years ago to recognise the exceptional people, places and producers in the food, drink and farming industries. From those early days, our aim was to support the farmers, the producers, the restauranteurs, the chefs, pubs, cafés, cake shops, delis, bakers and butchers in this incredible area, and we’re extraordinarily proud to still be doing so today. Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards has become one of the most prestigious and highly anticipated events in the region and it’s a privilege for me to be part of it this year.’

‘The awards serve as a symbol of appreciation for outstanding contributions despite the challenges faced by the sector over the last few years, we aim to highlight the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of those who have survived and thrive. We want to celebrate these victories with your support. Please help us champion your hospitality, foodie and farming heroes in our circulation area of the Cotswolds including Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire by casting your votes. These awards mean a great deal to all.'

Great British Life: Frank Smith & Co SolicitorsFrank Smith & Co Solicitors (Image: Frank Smith & Co Solicitors)

HEADLINE SPONSOR ANNOUNCED

Frank Smith & Co Solicitors, a law firm with specialist knowledge in advising landowning and farming families and those involved in the equestrian sector, are delighted to be selected as Headline Sponsor of the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2024.

‘We are longstanding supporters of the awards and are especially pleased this year to be presenting the Farmer of the Year Award.’ Said Frank Smith, who founded the firm.

‘As a local firm based in the centre of Cheltenham, we have worked for a number of entrepreneurial businesses over the years and have assisted many owners of cafés and restaurant businesses set up their businesses. We have a special relationship with the farming and agricultural community, and we look forward to highlighting the important work of this sector. These awards will enable us to celebrate the variety of food and drink within the county as well as the entrepreneurial and leadership skills behind those companies and our farmers.’

The law firm based in the centre of Cheltenham, is a leading provider of legal services to individuals and business alike focussing on two main areas of law: Property and Private Client Services. Within their Property Department you will find lawyers with expertise in agricultural and rural property, residential property and commercial property. In the Private Client Department their lawyers deal with wills, trusts and probate matters as well as powers of attorney.

‘We are a firm with a friendly and supportive culture and offer a welcoming and personalised service to our clients. We are renown for providing our legal services in a private, personal and efficient manner. With many years’ experience in the legal sector, we are outstanding at understanding the needs of our clients and we work hard to meet the expectations and demands of a diverse and vibrant local economy. A huge thank you to Cotswold Life magazine for this recognition, we can’t wait to be part of this special event and provide its readers with further insights into our firm throughout the year.’ Said Frank. www.franksmithandco.com

HOW TO NOMINATE

Whether it’s the local pub you treasure, a divine dining destination, an individual who has influenced our food and drink scene or a small but mighty food producer creating the finest ingredients for top chefs, we want to hear all about them. The finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges. Businesses and individuals from the Cotswold Life circulation area can enter or be nominated.

Click here to submit your nominations

The 2024 Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards categories


Pub of the Year

A Cotswold pub where the welcome is as outstanding as the beers, wines, ales and food on the menu.

Cafe, Coffee or Teashop of the Year

It’s a debate that will forever rumble, but this award will find the place that serves the best tea and coffee - as well as those all-important cakes and bakes.

Restaurant of the Year

This restaurant will offer an incomparable dining experience, everything from the ambiance to the service and most importantly the food. If you’re going to eat at one place in the region - this should be it.

Best Food Product or Producer

Whether a farmer/fruit and veg grower/manufacturer, this food hero will be a person devoted to their business and producing the very best food the Cotswolds has to offer.

Drinks Producer of the Year

Whether a gin-maker, vineyard, brewery or manufacturer, we are looking for a person devoted to their business and producing the very best drink products in the Cotswolds.

Chef of the Year

The Chef of the Year will be someone who has devoted themselves to serving the best food the region has to offer and has propelled the Cotswolds dining scene onto a national stage. They will display fantastic technical ability, use a wide range of seasonal ingredients, present food in a striking manner and have a deep understanding of flavour pairings.

Outstanding Service Award

We are on the hunt for an outstanding level of service that makes for a truly enjoyable visit to the food and drink venue. A person whose achievements have helped put the Cotswolds firmly on the map as an innovative and dynamic place.

Bakery of the Year

We want to hear about truly scrumptious cakes, bread and bakes being made and sold locally. Share your favourites.

Butcher of the Year

We are looking for a butcher who provides a diverse range of high-quality meat products as well as speciality items sourced from animals that have been reared in the Cotswolds by means of good animal husbandry. The butcher should also be able to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable and ethical practices.

Food retailer of the Year

We’re interested in an imaginative initiative that’s changing the way good quality food and drink is being sourced and sold. It could be a wholesaler, website, farm shop or independent retailer that’s transforming your access to great local produce with an original idea.

Farmer of the Year

The judges will be looking for traditional family farms which are clearly businesses, not just ways of life, and which have embraced the need for quality management and are also conscious of today’s requirements for conservation and diversification.

Small Holder of the Year

We’re looking for someone who has developed a herd or crop showing attention to detail to animal welfare, environmental impact and the needs of the local community.

Outstanding Contribution Award

This category recognises an individual working within the Cotswold food and drink industry who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment. The Outstanding Contribution Award is not just a look back over a career, but also a look at the impact this person has had and is still having.

Click here to submit your nominations

Scan the QR code with your mobile device to take you directly to the nomination formScan the QR code with your mobile device to take you directly to the nomination form (Image: Cotswold Life)

What it means to win

The prestige and acclaim that comes with winning an award is immeasurable. Julie Gilborson, winner of 2022 Pub of the Year The Old Fox at Coaley told us: ‘We are delighted and proud as punch to be a winner in these prestigious awards. Our dedicated team offer hospitality at its very best every single day, and this recognition is a huge compliment to them and to our excellent suppliers and wonderful customers who all make our job a pleasure.’

Interested in being a sponsor?

Several of our categories have already been sponsored by leading Cotswold businesses. If you would like to join them and are interested in sponsoring a category at this year's Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards, please contact Stacey Hawkins on stacey.hawkins@localiq.co.uk