A pair of honours for the Compasses

A PUB-restaurant near Braintree was a double winner at the inaugural Essex Life Fine Food & Drink Awards.

The Compasses, at Pattiswick, carried off both the Gastro Pub of the Year title, sponsored by Grape Passions, and the Restaurant of the Year award, sponsored by Harveys Quality Garden Buildings.

Organised by Essex Life magazine, part of media group Archant whose titles also include the East Anglian Daily Times, the awards were held at the Down Hall Country House Hotel, at Hatfield Heath.

The Food Producer of the Year award, sponsored by Jonathan Lambert Fine Jewellers, went to Carprilatte Ice Cream, from Abberton, near Colchester, while the Drink Producer of the Year, a category sponsored by What House?, was Mersea Island Vineyard and Brewery, at East Mersea.

Ashlyns Organics, based at High Laver, near Harlow, took the Organic Producer of the Year title, sponsored by Paul Newman Interiors, and Blackwell’s Farm Shop at Coggeshall claimed the Farm Shop of the Year award, sponsored by H2O.

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The Food Company, at Marks Tey, near Colchester, won the Independent Retailer of the Year category, sponsored by Piano Pavilion, while the Customer Service award, sponsored by Wentworth Kitchens, went to The Hoop at Stock, near Chelmsford.

The White Hart at Margaretting was named Real Ale Pub of the Year, a category sponsored by Swallow Aquatics/Mill Race Garden Centre, and Poppy’s Tea Room at Thaxted took the Tea Shop of the Year award, sponsored by Hedingham Castle.

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Jonathan Brown, head chef at the DuCane, at Great Braxted, near Witham, carried off the Chef of the Year award, sponsored by Lifehouse.

And the special Food and Drink Hero title, sponsored by VersaTile, was awarded to Mike Porter, former chairman of the Essex Agricultural Society.

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