North Yorkshire’s food heroes have been honoured at the 2019 Flavours of Herriot Country Awards

Awards News

The Flavours of Herriot Country awards – in their eighth year – celebrate the stars of the food and drink industry across Richmondshire and Hambleton – Herriot Country.

The owners, staff and their supporters, from hundreds of producers and hospitality companies, gathered together for a memorable awards event at the Garden Rooms at Tennants in Leyburn.

The presentation event was hosted by Elly Fiorentini of BBC Radio York, with Rosie Page, daughter of James Herriot author Alf Wight, among the guest speakers. 

Frances Atkins (The Yorke Arms)
Dr Rosie Page (Alf Wight’s daughter)

As well as the 12 award categories, there was a special recognition award presented to Shepherd’s Purse Cheeses, and its founder Judy Bell, by Cllr Mark Robson, Leader, Hambleton District Council.

The special award honoured Mrs Bell and her daughters Katie Matten and Caroline Bell, for creating an internationally recognised cheese brand from a business which started 32 years ago on the kitchen table of the Bell’s farm at Newsham, near Thirsk.

This year, the artisan cheesemaker won an incredible three gold, and two silver medals, at the World Cheese Awards held in Bergamo, Italy.

Reading out the award citation, the Awards chair Irene Myers spoke of the Bells’ passion for their outstanding artisan cheesemaking business and their global recognition.

The Darlington & Stockton Times Readers’ Choice award went to Masons Yorkshire Gin which suffered a devastating fire earlier this year that destroyed their Aiskew premises but maintained production of its gin throughout.

But the company is now preparing to move into a new purpose-built facility at Leeming Bar.

The Young Professional Chef Award was presented to Jack Baldwin of the Bruce Arms, West Tanfield. It is the second time he has been presented with this accolade.

Chair of the Flavours of Herriot Country Awards Irene Myers said the organisers and award judges, led by Susie Brindley, had been hugely gratified by the volume and quality of the entries in 2019.

She said: “We can confidently say that all the shortlisted finalists in 2018 were winners. Some of the decisions our judges had to make were very difficult indeed. Every year these awards just reaffirm our belief that this special part of North Yorkshire has some of the finest produce and hospitality standards in the UK, and gives us all the opportunity to recognise the winners for their dedication and hard work”.

Ms Myers thanked the guest speaker, Frances Atkins, from the Yorke Arms, Ramsgill and the awards principal supporters – North Yorkshire County and Hambleton District councils – and principal sponsors – Richmondshire District Council and Grand Central Rail , along with the many other sponsors for their invaluable support.

Guest speakers at the event included John Gallery of the Herriot Country Attractions Group who talked of the growing importance of the Herriot brand to the tourist and hospitality economy of North Yorkshire.

Dr Rosie Page, daughter of the Herriot series and books, author Alf Wight, talked about the work of Herriot Hospice Homecare which is in the process of creating a permanent hospice base at the former Lambert Hospital in Thirsk. The generous guests a the awards entered a raffle which raised a grand total of £1,099.

The finalists and winners (in bold) in each category were:


Breakfast of the Year – Yorkshires True Tours

  • A J Spilman & Son (Spilmans) Helperby
  • The Station Café Bar Richmond
  • The Joiners Shop Ingleby Arncliffe
  • The North End Café Bedale
  • Station Hotel Northallerton Northallerton

Tea Room of the Year – The Garden Rooms, Tennants, Leyburn

  • Eppleby Village Shop & Tea Room Richmond
  • White Rose BookCafe Thirsk
  • The Old Barn Coffee Shop Thirsk
  • Lewis & Cooper Northallerton
  • The Pantry Thirsk

Local Product of the Year – Shepherds Purse Artisan Cheeses

  • Taplin & Mageean Spirit Company Leyburn
  • Masons Yorkshire Gin Bedale
  • Winnies Yorkshire Delights Thirsk
  • The Home Farmer Aysgarth
  • Yorkshire Dales Distillery Ltd Colburn, Catterick Garrison

Specialist Retailer of the Year – Richmondshire District Council

  • Johnson’s of Thirsk Thirsk
  • Wilfred Deli and Pantry Richmond
  • The Greengrocer (Thirsk) Ltd Thirsk
  • Roots Farm Shop & Café East Rounton
  • Minskip Farm Shop Minskip

Afternoon Tea of the Year – Mad Hatter Tea

  • Mill Race Teashop Aysgarth
  • Lewis & Cooper Northallerton
  • The Pantry Thirsk
  • The North End Café Bedale
  • The Joiners Shop Ingleby Arncliffe

Pub Food of the Year – Hambleton District Council

  • The Freemasons Arms of Nosterfield Nosterfield
  • New Inn Thrintoft, Northallerton
  • Carpenters Arms Felixkirk, Thirsk
  • The Potting Shed Northallerton

Restaurant of the Year – Yorebrdge House Hotel

  • 1783 Restaurant Burgoyne Hotel Reeth
  • The Saddle Room Leyburn
  • The Bruce Arms West Tanfield
  • The Wensleydale Heifer West Witton
  • The Blue Lion, East Witton East Witton

Baked Product of the Year – Hambleton Ales

  • H’Evanly Cakes Catterick Garrison
  • Institution Bedale
  • Two Dales Bakery Reeth
  • The Old Barn Coffee Shop Thirsk
  • The Rusty Bike Swainby

Café/Restaurant of the Year at a Visitor Attraction – Rounton Coffee

  • A J Spilman & Son (Spilmans) Helperby
  • The Station Café | Bar Richmond
  • Wensleydale Creamery Hawes
  • Joe Cornish Gallery Café Northallerton
  • Black Sheep Brewery Masham

Customer Service Team of the Year – Grand Central Rail

  • The North End Café Bedale
  • The Wensleydale Heifer West Witton
  • Lewis & Cooper Northallerton
  • The Old Barn Coffee Shop Thirsk
  • Mill Race Teashop Aysgarth

Locally Produced Beer of the Year – Barker Partnership

  • Pennine brewing Masham
  • Bad Co Brewing & Disitillery Dishforth
  • Wensleydale Brewery Leyburn
  • Black Sheep Brewery Masham

Young Professional Chef or Catering Student of the Year – North Yorkshire County Council

  • Raymond Omondi (Station Cafe Bar) Richmond
  • Thomas Hickin (The Blue Lion) East Witton
  • Jack Baldwin (The Bruce Arms) West Tanfield