Locally produced winners

Hampshire Hospitality AwardsA third wave of Winchester businesses have received the Hampshire Hospitality Award, a quality marque for restaurants, bars, cafés and sandwich bars.

The Hampshire Hospitality Awards are now in their third year.  Initially piloted in the districts of Winchester and Test Valley, they have now been extended to include East Hampshire, North Hampshire, Portsmouth and Gosport.  The scheme is supported and part-funded by the regional tourist board, Tourism South East.

All the businesses taking part underwent a ‘mystery shopper’ assessment, which took place over the busy summer season. The trained assessors considered every aspect of the customer experience including cleanliness, hospitality, service, efficiency, presentation and food quality.  Businesses could also opt for an additional assessment – devised by local food group Hampshire Fare - on their use of local produce.

A total of 60 businesses in Hampshire received quality marques, with 25 of these located within the Winchester District.  Lainston House Hotel at Sparsholt received the superior quality award (the top rating), as well as picking up a local produce marque in recognition of their use of ingredients grown in the hotel’s kitchen garden.  The Thomas Lord pub at West Meon, who source over 90% of their produce locally, also received a local produce marque.

Project manager, Alison Woods, Manager of Winchester Tourist Information Centre, said:

“Not only are these awards a well deserved accolade for the businesses concerned but they are also, for the general public, a clear signpost to quality. From fine dining restaurants to sandwich bars, these businesses have one thing in common – they offer a great eating experience for each one of their customers.”

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, added:

“We are doing everything we can to support our business community through the current financial downturn, and this excellent scheme enables us to promote, develop and drive business to the district’s best eating places.  Many of these are small to medium enterprises with limited marketing budgets, so the Hampshire Hospitality Awards are a great way for us to help provide a return on their investment of time, talent and sheer hard work.”

For a full list of businesses who have achieved an award, contact Winchester’s own award-winning tourist information centre on 01962 840 500 or email: tourism@winchester.gov.uk. There is also a list on our tourism website at www.visitwinchester.co.uk/site/things-to-do/food-and-drink/hampshire-hospitality-award. Happy eating!