What a proud day!
Our motto has always been ‘local and proud’ when we talk about our pubs and our trip to London as the ‘Local Food’ Champions of the Northwest in the ‘Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars’ underlined this statement. Owners Tim and Mary accompanied by Cholmondeley Head Chef Christian and Sales and commercial manager Sophie travelled down to the House of Lords for the awards presentation. Weirdly the event was being held in, no other than, the Cholmondeley Room!!
It was a beautiful warm sunny day as we stood together outside the Cholmondeley Room looking at the fantastic view across the Thames and of the Houses of Parliament.
There were 40 regional champions (including us). 10 in our category. We were the only pub up for an award across the country which we are very proud of. The 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) were presented to top rural businesses by the Secretary of State for Defra, Owen Paterson MP. The Parliamentary reception was attended by Regional Champions who had travelled from as far afield as the Orkney Islands, the Isle of Anglesey, County Antrim and many points in between. The UK Champions were announced by Countryside Alliance Chairman Kate Hoey MP on what was an exceptional day for Yorkshire. Countryside Alliance President Baroness Mallalieu was on hand to present the inaugural Clarissa Dickson Wright Award to Cumbria’s Sillfield Farm on behalf of her late friend and Awards judge Clarissa, who passed away in March.
Our category was won by ‘Our Cow Molly’ from Dungworth, in South Yorkshire which is a family run business. With the dairy industry in freefall this farming family redoubled its efforts to go the distance for the next generation, diversifying into ice-cream production – a gutsy move that has paid off. Award winning ice-cream is just the tip of the iceberg here, and a commitment to other local producers through a farm shop, as well as the education of youngsters, is also strong. A new dairy building is currently in production on the farm and it will include a huge classroom which will overlook the dairy herd, enabling our Champion to enthuse the next generation about the industry and milk as a super-food.
We were very proud to be a part of such great champions of the countryside. Christian our Head Chef has worked very hard over the last couple of years to ensure the customers arriving at Cholmondeley enjoy locally sourced ingredients from game to lettuce leaves and this is true recognition of his efforts.
This award is dedicated to the Cholmondeley team….thank you for your hard work since we arrived back in 2011.
Our Local MP Stephen O’ Brien leant his support on the day and he too was very proud to see us at the House Of Lords for such a prestigious event.
After the awards London was enjoyed to the full before dashing (and I do mean dashing!!) for the train back to Cheshire.