Finalists revealed for Food & Drink Awards

The finalists for the 11th Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards have been revealed! Let's take a look at who's lucky enough to be in the running to be crowned the city's finest...

Restaurant of the Year

  • The Palfrey
  • Lotus Indian Kitchen
  • The Wonky Table

Excellence in Customer Service

  • Milk & Honey Deli
  • Katherine's Gift & Coffee Bar
  • Elements Tea & Coffee House
  • The Exeter Arms
  • Lisa Jean at Bennetts
  • Kava Coffee Bar

Remember this award is voted for by YOU, via the Derby Telegraph

Best Pub

  • The Bell & Castle
  • The Blessington Castle
  • The Dog & Moon

Best Newcomer

  • Annie's Burger Shack
  • The Creaky Floorboard
  • Elements Tea & Coffee House

Best out of Town

  • Cock Inn at Mugginton
  • Vegan Revelation
  • Amalfi White
  • The Shed at Hilton

Best Cafe

  • The Coffee house at Derby Museums
  • The Squashed Tomato
  • Derby QUAD Cafe

Best Bar

  • The Orange Tree
  • The Palfrey
  • Suds & Soda


Most Family Friendly

  • The Coffee House at Derby Museums
  • Bluebell Dairy Cafe
  • COSMO Derby

BEst International

  • La Pizza
  • Lorentes
  • Annie's Burger Shack

Congratulations to this year's finalists!

The winners will be announced at the Roundhouse on the 7th October at an exciting ceremony with guest speakers, food and drink stalls (The Market Place) and more!

Everyone is invited to the awards ceremony, so if you would like to attend simply register here

Derby F&D banner 1111.png

2019 Sponsors

A big thank you to this year's Food & Drink Awards sponsors, who now have the difficult (and fun) task of picking a winner from their sponsored category!

See below for our full list of 2019 category sponsors and what they say about the awards.

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Denby Pottery
"Denby is delighted to sponsor the Food & Drink Awards again this year as this region has many impressive venues for dining and socialising. Denby is offering a prize of £1,000 RRP of its locally made tableware for the winner of the ‘Restaurant of the Year’. As restaurants want their food to look as good as it tastes, this seemed like the perfect partnership for Denby!"

Outstanding achievement award sponsored by Royal Crown Derby
“It gives us great pleasure to be sponsoring this year’s Outstanding Achievement award. At Royal Crown Derby we have been manufacturing fine bone china tableware for over 265 years, meaning the Food and Drink industry is right at our heart. Being founded in Derby and being based in the city for over 2 and a half decades, it is an honour to be sponsoring such an important award in an industry and a city that means so much to us.”

Best Café sponsored by Derby College
"Derby Food and Drink Awards celebrate the best of creativity, high quality customer service and entrepreneurial endeavour which are all attributes that we engender into our student body as part of their study programmes."

Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by The Derby Telegraph
"Good customer service can mean the difference between an average dining-out experience and a truly memorable one; it can be the deciding factor which compels people to make a return visit.”

Remember this award is voted for by YOU. You can vote here for Excellence in Customer Service.

Best bar sponsored by Irongate Group
“Irongate is delighted to continue its support of the awards for another year, helping showcase the innovative and vibrate food and drink culture we have in Derby”.

Best pub sponsored by Mortgage Advice Bureau
"We’re proud to once again sponsor the Marketing Derby food and drink awards. Derbyshire is dubbed the real ale capital of the UK and we have a thriving food and drink scene so we’re extremely excited to see this year’s competition."

Most family friendly sponsored by Cattermole Electrical
"As a small award-winning family business and having a young family of my own it made sense for us to sponsor the Most family friendly award."

Best newcomer sponsored by Hot House Music School
"Derby has a tradition of being both innovative and inspirational. We believe that Derby has an exceptional level of talent in every aspect of its culture and business which is why we are delighted to sponsor the Best newcomer award"

Best international sponsored by KRCS
"As a local business, KRCS is proud to support restaurants in Derby and the surrounding areas. We’re excited to sponsor the Best international award 2019, as we celebrate diversity in the city and the eclectic mix of flavours and cultures that make Derby great."

Best out of town sponsored by the University of Derby
"We are delighted to be supporting the Food and Drink Awards 2019. Our Culinary and Hospitality courses are preparing the next generation of talent to support this highly valuable sector."

The Market Place sponsored by Gem Radio


Market Place stallholders

The Derby Food & Drink Awards is pleased to welcome a range of local food and drink businesses who will be exhibiting in 'The Market Place' at the Roundhouse on 7th October.

Guests will have the opportunity to try some tasty samples from the likes of Doughnotts, Highfield Drinks Group, Ashbourne Bakehouse, The Gin and Rum Festival, Burrows & Sturgess and Bluebells ice cream, as well as being able to purchase delicious wood-fired pizza from Biddulph's Pizzeria.

On hand to offer advice on kitchen equipment will be Cattermole Electrical, Rational AG, Robot Coupe, Krupps, Maidaid Halcyon & Foster Refrigeration.


The Quirky Cook - A Guest Blog

I’m Kay Wagstaff, sole owner of the Quirky Cook, a Derbyshire-based small food business, operating from my home kitchen.  I have been creating and perfecting foods professionally since 2008, producing handmade chutneys, award-winning Traditional Piccalilli and innovative Black Garlic relishes. 

I was initially approached by Saffron Millington to see if I would like to take a stall at the Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards 2016.  By the time she had explained what this would mean to me as a local food producer, I was sold on the idea without hesitation. 

This was the first time I had attended this event and I would do it again.  It was an extremely well-organised, well-run, evening and I was impressed by the level of support and attendance it received. 

It proved to be a great networking opportunity, enabling me to promote myself, my company and to showcase my products to guests and other local producers.

I used the event as a promotional opportunity, offering samples of products and talking about them, but I also sold them – both before and after the awards had taken place.  I even had several people contact me by phone or email to make further enquiries or purchases. 

I have already indicated to the organisers that I believe these awards should be extended to include local food producers.  Whilst I have achieved recognition through the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards 2016, I would be equally proud to display a sticker on my products saying “The Best of Derbyshire” or something similar.  I am proud of my products but equally proud of my heritage.  I am an ardent supporter of local produce and artisan food producers and feel there is an opportunity within the Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards for a Local Food Producer category. 

Derby Museums' Success Following Awards Win


Read our guest blog from winner of Best Cafe 2016 Derby Musems The Coffee House.

When the judge announced the winner and said Derby Museums, I was in shock. I couldn’t move or say anything until my colleague turned around and looked at me, and started shouting and celebrating. It was unbelievable.

This was the pinnacle of a long journey that started out in June 2014 when the Museum café opened. The name, The Coffee House, was suggested by a team member who said that in the 18th century cafes were called Coffee Houses.

We were finalist in the Derby Food and Drink Awards 2014 and though glad to be recognised, we felt it was a bit too early for us but it was evidence that we were on the right track. We were determined to win the 2016 award and so every time a customer commented on how good the food/service was, we suggested they nominate us. We did some social media activity to encourage our nomination but didn’t force the issue because people should naturally want to nominate us if they thought we were good enough. I did nominate the café on behalf of the museum and thought the process was easy and straight-forward.

When I was told that we were in the final three, I was ecstatic. I immediately told everyone at the museum as well as the trustees who were all delighted and congratulated us all. For me, just being nominated and mentioned with the likes of Bean Café and Café Caruso was good enough and It felt as if we had actually won the award. It was noticeable that all the front of house team and the café team had a spring in their step and seemed more upbeat and proud of their café.

I never in my wildest dreams thought we would win but inside I was hoping that we would and when we did, “wow what a feeling”. When I took the award back to the Museum, everyone wanted to see it and have their picture taken. It has taken pride of place at the front, for the first week or so, we displayed it in amongst the cakes to make sure no one missed the fact that we are the best café in Derby. I immediately got the ‘Winner’ logo’s printed and stuck on the front window at the entrance. After John Forkin’s speech I thought I make the most of this situation given that not many people know we have a café in the museum.

The impact it’s had on the business has been phenomenal. Our takings in the first week was nearly double what we were used to do and during half term we broke our daily record 3 times in a week. The feedback we have received has reflected the fantastic service and food/drink we offer. Our tripadvisor reviews have all been great and every time the café is mentioned, its always been complimentary. I can see a big difference between not being nominated (2015), being finalist (2014) and winning (2016) and would encourage everyone to enter these prestigious awards and will definitely be looking to enter next year.  

2016 Finalists Announced

With over 2,200 nominations received from the public, Marketing Derby is pleased to announce the finalists of the 8th annual Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards. 

The finalists were shortlisted based the quality and content of the nominations, as well as the establishment’s hygiene ratings and TripAdvisor reviews. Each establishment will be visited by mystery judges, who will assess them on food, drinks, overall atmosphere and customer service.  The winners will be announced at the ceremony, to be held at The Roundhouse on Monday 10th October. 

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: “Every year the number of nominations increases, and this year was our most difficult task, whittling down from over 2,200 nominations into a shortlist. This year’s finalists reflect the diversity and quality of Derby’s food and drink scene.

“The judges will have a difficult, albeit enjoyable, time picking a winner. We have asked them to take a rounded view, looking for excellence in customer service, with knowledgeable staff who seems to care, appropriate ambience, as well as, of course, an excellent food and drink offer.” 

The judges will have a difficult, albeit enjoyable, time picking a winner.
— John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby

Best International

Finalists sponsored by Derby Riverlights:

  • Lorentes
  • Shalimar Gold
  • The Spice Lounge

Best Pub

Finalists sponsored by Koobr:

  • New Zealand Arms
  • The Exeter Arms
  • The Greyhound

Best Customer Service

Finalists sponsored by Derby Telegraph:

  • Anoki Derby
  • Dovecate Restaurant at Morley Hayes
  • Grand Café Caruso
  • HIDE Burger Bar
  • Mansion
  • The Spice Lounge

Best Café

Finalists sponsored by Zest Produce:

  • Grand Café Caruso
  • Heavenly Desserts
  • The Coffee House at Derby Museums

Best Out of Town

Finalists sponsored by Xcel Energy:

  • Anoki Burton (A38)
  • Dovecote at Morley Hayes
  • Fox and Hounds, Coxbench

Restaurant of the Year

Finalists sponsored by Marketing Derby Bondholders:

  • HIDE Burger Bar
  • Iberico
  • Masa
  • Restaurant Zest

Best Bar

Finalists sponsored by Swindell & Pearson:

  • Hopgate
  • Mansion
  • Pitcher & Piano

Best Newcomer

Finalists sponsored by University of Derby Business School:

  • Cosy Club
  • Lisa Jean at Bennetts Brasserie
  • Oliver's
Sponsors copy (1).jpg