Cotswold Food and Drink Awards

With a soupçon of trepidation, balanced out with a ladle-full of excitement and optimism, I’m pleased to announce our 2022 Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards.

We made the difficult decision – not once, but twice – to postpone the awards, in 2020 and 2021, because of the effect COVID-19 has had on the industry. Too many of our dearly-loved restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafés and producers found it a difficult time; with constantly changing government guidelines surrounding hospitality, staff being furloughed, challenges in recruiting – and re-recruiting – skilled people, and loyal patrons feeling nervous about leaving their homes. It simply didn’t feel like the right time to be celebrating our usually thriving food and drink businesses.

While some, sadly, had to call it a day, others found new ways in which to operate in challenging times; setting up takeaway services, delivering the complete restaurant service direct to homes, introducing subscription models, and installing all manner of shelters in gardens. In 2020 we saw quirky open-sided ‘pods’, fairy light-festooned marquees, geodesic domes and tipis – many staying as attractive long-term additions – and we’ve also seen traditional pubs transformed into village stores, selling everything from fruit and veg to daily papers.

The way in which independent Cotswold businesses have joined forces to share experiences and ideas during these difficult times has been truly heart-warming, and fills us with both hope and excitement for the days to come. And so, we’re pleased to be launching our Food & Drink Awards for the 20th year, and hope you’ll join us in recognising some of our heroes.

We'll keep this page updated when we are open for entries and we look forward to seeing you at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 17, 2022, for our celebration of all that’s good about Cotswold food and drink.

Candia McKormack, Editor, Cotswold Life