NANTWICH has been recognised at the Taste Cheshire Awards 2014 for being a fantastic destination for food lovers.

Around 300 representatives from the best pubs, restaurants, cafes, farm shops, producers and delis from all over Cheshire gathered in a glitzy ceremony to discover which venues were going to receive one of these prestigious local hospitality awards.

Hosted by Richard Straffon of Heart Radio and Deanna Thomas of Taste Cheshire, the annual Taste Cheshire Awards at the Pavilion, Chester Racecourse marked the culmination of the annual Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival.

Now in their 14th year, the Taste Cheshire Awards recognise the best independent dining establishments and food retail outlets across the region. They are judged on a number of criteria to prove that are at the top of their game.

Nominations are collected by public vote between January and March so customers get an opportunity to voice their support for their favourite local venues.

Almost 5,000 votes by the general public were cast, counted and converted into a shortlist of finalists.

Each finalist was then subjected to a 'mystery shop' by a panel of industry experts who visited each of these venues before deciding on the ultimate winner. Bronze, Silver and Gold awards were then revealed on the night of the gala awards dinner on Wednesday, April 23.

This year, Nantwich and surrounding areas generated a significant number of awards proving what an excellent destination it is for food and drink lovers.

Cheerbrook Farm Shop was awarded 'Best Traditional Cheshire Sausage 2014' and owner Andrew Shufflebotham proudly collected his award from Maud Duthie, Project manager from the North West Food Research Development (NoWFood) Centre at The University of Chester where the initial round of judging took place.

Cheerbrook Farm Shop narrowly missed an award in the 'Local Produce Shop of the year' category which was ultimately won this year by The Cheshire Smokehouse in Wilmslow.

Bloom Sandwich Shop on Pillory Street Nantwich was awarded the Gold Award in the Best Sandwich category with judges commenting on ‘the impressive variety with lots of different fillings including homemade sauces and chutneys’.

Enzo on High Street took home the Gold Award for being Cheshire’s Best Café beating strong competition from Central Perk, Chester and the Planet Pavilion café at Jodrell Bank.

Sarah Roberts, owner of Bloom, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to have even been nominated for the award after only 12 weeks in business. We’re truly blown away to have won Gold.”