Good morning all, how are you doing on this lovely Tuesday? So, it was the Derby Food and Drink Awards last night and this Derby foodie was covering the ceremony just for you. This was the scene pre-ceremony, and expectation was high with a palpable buzz of sweet victorious anticipation.


The crème de la crème of the food industry descended on The Roundhouse to celebrate the seventh annual Derby Food and Drink Awards. The evening highlighted Derby’s finest restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, in categories including Best Newcomer, Best Out of Town, and the highly prestigious Restaurant of the Year.


The award ceremony, organised by Marketing Derby in conjunction with the Derby Telegraph, Roundhouse Events and Cactus Images, was hosted by Andy Potter, ab fab BBC journo and foodie. Here he is with Waleed from Okra (who also do one of the best curries in Derby).


I feel a little sorry for the nomination counter, because over 1,600 nominations were received for the seventh annual Derby Food and Drink Awards, showcasing the strength of the city’s food and drink industry.


Marketing Derby’s John Forkin praised the variety in the finalists and winners. He said: “Each year, the standard gets better. To be a finalist is a tremendous achievement.”

The food and drink sector in Derby has gone from strength to strength and it’s great to see the dining scene expand and offer a diverse range of eateries. With big names being attracted to Derby (Turtle Bay, Joe’s Kitchen, Byron’s Burgers just a few to mention), Derby is steadily becoming the foodie destination of choice.

So who won? It is my pleasure to announce the following:

Best International – Sponsored by Flint Bishop

Finalist – Lorentes

Finalist – Okra

Winner – The Spice Lounge


Best Café – Sponsored by The Dragon

Finalist – Cube at Deda

Finalist – Café Caruso Boutique

Winner – Bean Caffe Riverside

Best Bar – Sponsored by Portixol Relocations

Finalist – The Distillery

Finalist – Mansion

Winner – The Brooklyn Social 


Best Pub – Sponsored by Roundhouse Thinking

Finalist – The Silk Mill Ale and Cider House

Finalist – The Tap

Winner – The Exeter Arms

During an interval, The Cathedral Quarter Hotel put on a cute cocktail demonstration. The scene was set and mixologists extraordinaire from CQH rustled up some very inventive cocktails. The smoked number smelt and looked amazing, as the aroma of charred oak chips filled the room.


Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Underwood Vinecombe Solicitors

Finalist – Hide

Finalist – Café Lavanta

Winner – The Brooklyn Social

Canapés on the night were provided by Café Lavanta. My favourite was the hummus that was delicate on the palate and earthy without being cloying.


Best Out of Town – Sponsored by Sky Recruitment Solutions

Finalist – Fintons Café and Bakehouse, Breaston

Finalist – Hackwood Farm, Radbourne

Winner – Angelo’s The New Inn, Belper


Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Derby Telegraph

Finalist – Iberico

Finalist – Dovecote Restaurant, Morley Hayes

Finalist – Okra

Finalist – The Engine Shed

Finalist – Le Bistrot Pierre

Winner – The Spice Lounge


Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Marketing Derby Bondholders

Finalist – Iberico

Finalist – Rowley’s

Winner – Masa


Outstanding Achievement – Sponsored by Royal Crown Derby

Paul Hurst   

Food and Drink SponsorsIt was a really great evening and it was a pleasure meeting Joe P, Asad et al at Marketing Derby, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Well done for pulling off a seamlessly smooth event and thank you to the sponsors of the evening too. Congratulations to all finalists too. I have dined at most of the finalists’ eateries and have been blown away by the downright delicious fayre.

More food reviews coming soon. Have you eaten at any of the establishments mentioned above? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear from you.