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Food & Drink finalists 2014: part one

PUBLISHED: 15:33 11 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:33 11 October 2014

Spadework, Offham

Spadework, Offham

Archant

Meet some of the finalists in the hotly contested Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards

Tea shop of the Year

Sponsored by: Gerald Lukehurst

Sandhurst Tea Rooms, Sandhurst

When we received the call informing us we had been shortlisted for an award, it was an unexpected but very pleasant shock. We are naturally very grateful to all the readers who nominated us and of course excited about the event itself in November. It feels great to be acknowledged and appreciated for what we try to achieve here at Sandhurst Tea Rooms.

I am sure your readers have nominated us because a visit to Sandhurst Tea Rooms is relaxing and unhurried. They enjoy the beautiful Kent countryside and our 17th-century, Grade II listed, traditional white weather-boarded premises, with their exposed beams and pretty garden.

They know that all our cakes and scones are home made and our sandwiches, paninis and baguettes are all freshly made to order. I think they also enjoy our mix of traditional and modern twists.

Customers who may have dined with us for Sunday lunch appreciate the friendly, unhurried atmosphere and our delicious traditional two-course lunch with a choice of roast meat and several hot and cold home-made desserts too.

Tanya and Damon Parker

Pines Garden and Tea Room,

I’m chuffed to bits about us being nominated and really generally thrilled. It has been a team effort from myself, my girls in the tea room, Carol and Emma at Rippledown who make the cake and everyone at the Bay Trust who works really hard.

This nomination means that all that effort has paid off. It’s a real pleasure coming to work here and I really love it. Hopefully that shows in the food I cook and the welcome we give to our customers.

We think readers have nominated us because we have lots of regulars, who keep coming back for more, as well as visitors from the garden, St. Margaret’s Bay and walkers. We use local suppliers and a lot of our fruit and vegetables are grown in the Pines Garden itself, so it is all super fresh.

We have people coming in to shelter from the rain or sit outside in the sun, so it’s a great spot in a beautiful location. Dogs are welcome too and we provide water bowls and even the occasional doggy treat.

Michelle Spain

Fir Tree, Penshurst

The staff and I are very happy to be nominated again for this award. It is always good to be recognised for what we do. I feel that by nominating us, our customers have kindly complimented us on our efforts to provide good service and quality teas.

I also think we have been nominated because our range of home-made cakes, from the classic favourites to the more unusual flavour combinations, that we inflict upon them are always going down a treat!

The friendly and caring atmosphere of the tearooms is also greatly valued. Winning this award would be a great boost for all of the staff and an endorsement of their commitment to continuous good service.

Caroline Fuller-Rowell

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