It’s not often that a press release gives us a little lump in our throat, but a snippet of news we received about the pub chain Ember Inns has really touched our hearts this year.
Sadly, some of the latest national research has revealed that half a million UK senior citizens will be alone on Christmas Day, making it a day to dread for many lonely people. While most of us enjoy a day of fun and family each year, almost 1 in 20 older people didn’t receive a single Christmas present last year. So, it’s not surprising to learn that Ember Inns reckon that 20% of older people wake up on Christmas morning dreading the day ahead and that 1 in 10 are expecting to eat a ready meal on Christmas Day.
Ember Inns support The Silver Line a helpline which provides information, friendship and advice to older people and this year, each of their 130 pubs across the UK has donated a table so that guests nominated by The Silver Line can enjoy a special Christmas meal with them.
Fiona Richardson, Marketing Manager for Ember Inns, said, “At Ember Inns we’re passionate about communities. We all have friends or relatives that live alone and this can be a very tough time for them, especially in the run up to Christmas and our pubs are ideally situated in the community to help.”
In the UK more than half of all 75 year olds live alone and one in ten suffers ‘intense’ loneliness but is reluctant to ask for help.
We say “bravo Ember Inns” and a big “Happy Christmas” to everyone involved.
Harrogate’s Van Zeller restaurant has today been crowned as the overall winner of the prestigious The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Award.
The award was presented to Tom van Zeller – chef-patron of Van Zeller – by renowned chef Angela Hartnett at a ceremony in central London today. Van Zeller triumphed over stiff competition from nine other short listed restaurants and was praised for its vibrant and ambitious cooking.
“To represent the North East in the regional awards is one thing, but to be given the national award is a huge honour of which I am incredibly proud – for my team, for my customers and for Harrogate,” said their delighted Chef Patron Tom van Zeller.
The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Award is run annually to find the UK’s favourite independently run restaurant, as nominated by the general public and aims to champion local eateries and recognise great food and good service. This year, over 44,500 diners rose to the challenge and nominated their favourite restaurants, pubs and cafés from around the UK.
The Good Food Guide has today announced the ten regional winners in its prestigious The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Awards.
The Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Awards call on the public to nominate their favourites and this year there was a vigorous response from the UK’s food lovers, with a record 44,500 people nominating independenty-run restaurants, pubs and cafes from around the UK. The Good Food Guide award judges have sifted through all the nominations to pick the regional winners and celebrate some of the best dining experiences around the country.
This year’s ten regional winners are:
– East of England – Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
– London – Charlotte’s Place, Ealing
– Midlands – The Bluebell, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire
– North East – Van Zeller, Harrogate
– North West – Grenache, Walkden, Manchester
– Northern Ireland – Mourne Seafood Bar, Belfast
– Scotland – Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow
– South East – Jeremy’s Restaurant, Haywards Heath, W Sussex
– South West – The Swan, Wedmore, Somerset
– Wales – Y Polyn, Carmarthen
Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor of The Good Food Guide, said: ‘This year’s regional winners in The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year awards really are a stellar bunch. Each restaurant is testament to the great dining scene around the UK and we heartily congratulate them all. Of course, what makes these awards so special is that they are based on feedback from The Good Food Guide readers – the people who are out there eating and enjoying food every day – what higher compliment could there be?’
To qualify for these esteemed awards – intended to champion local neighbourhood eateries – restaurants needed to be independently run and offer regional or local produce where possible. One of the regional winners will now go on to be named the overall winner, claiming the esteemed award of The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year 2013 and and this announcement will be made at an award ceremony in London on 20th June 2012.
All ten regional winners will appear in The Good Food Guide 2013 which publishes on 10th September 2012.