The Aylsham Agricultural Show Association has awarded the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Championship 2015 to the King’s Arms Coaching Inn in Swaffham and the President’s Individual Hero Award to Davina Tanner OBE of Café Britannia in Norwich.

The King’s Arms Coaching Inn has received the highest accolade and took home the Ken Dye Memorial Salver, which is sponsored by Larking Gowen. “The Inn’s team is all round first class. It’s involved in creating and developing new ideas; has made local produce key to the menu and uses local herbs and allotments. And its great community spirit is laudable,” said Show President Tony Bambridge who handed over the top award at today’s event at Blickling (31 August 2015).

Mr Bambridge has awarded the President’s Cup to Davina Tanner OBE who runs the newly established Café Britannia. He said: “Davina identified the potential of the old officers’ mess of the Britannia Barracks, which is part of the prison. She then transformed the kitchen with the help of some of the inmates, creating a wonderful café at Mousehold Heath with fantastic views over Norwich.

“Café Britannia offers good quality food, comfortable surroundings, great views, ensures a very good customer feel good factor and has well trained staff which are mostly inmates who gain new skills. And all this has been identified and accepted at a phenomenal rate by the now hundreds of customers served every day. Well done, Davina, Our individual Food Hero!”

Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Championship Winner 2015, owner Claire Evans and General Manager David Cox, said: “It’s a bit of a shock as the other companies are all brilliant. So we had strong competition!

“This award will make a difference to our business, and it’s an accolade and great reward for us and our staff. We’re about offering something different to different people, from pub food and fine dining to afternoon teas and wedding receptions.”

The Championship winner was selected from the Category winners of 2015 which were all recognised by the judges as ‘innovative and impressive businesses’.

Category winners 2015

John Wootten President of Aylsham Show 2017
Aylsham Show President I am very pleased and honoured to be President of the Aylsham Show in 2017. We moved to Aylsham in 1978, but as a ship’s captain, my job took me abroad for several years. In 1982 my wife’s uncle, John Thornton, then local director of Barclays Bank was President of the Show and he persuaded me to get involved. When illness forced me to retire from the sea, I became Assistant Showground Director to Tom Elwes for several years until 1992. After some years building up Eastern Events, in 2010 I took over as Show Director from Jamie Jamieson. My grandfather farmed at Horsham St Faith and I like to think that he may have visited the show in its formative years. My wife Charlotte certainly competed at the Show in the 1960’s, majoring on the gymkhana. Up until the end of last year I was a director of Revival Productions who have staged very successful concerts in Blickling Park for the past 5 years. All of us who work for the Show have special moments. As Show Director I was always on site by 5 am – a magical time with the mist rising and everything just stirring. The stockmen are washing down their cattle, and sheep are calling to one another. But soon it is all go and you look at your watch and discover it is 2 o’clock in the afternoon before you know it. One of the things I will really enjoy as President is actually being able to see the Show and to meet and thank all the people who make it such a success. The Show is a fantastic organisation where people give their time and energy to raise money for local charities and I am very proud to be a part of it and to be President in 2017.
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