The hunt for the East Midlands' best waterside spot for a beer, a butty or a fine dining experience was launched in August. As part of the awards local people were challenged to get out and nominate their favourite.
The appeal had a great response with several hundred nominations being made through a simple form. Members of the public were asked to rate the quality of food, drink and service offered by local venues and, also importantly, how they make the most of their waterside setting.
The top five venues receiving the highest ratings were (in alphabetical order):
- The Boathouse Café at Beeston
- Kings Lock Tea Rooms in Leicester
- The Ferry Boat Inn at Church Laneham in Nottinghamshire
- Pillings Lock Marina near Loughborough
- The White Horse at Birstall in Leicestershire
A panel of judges have been visiting each finalist venue throughout October and the winner in each category will be announced at the Annual Public Meeting of the Trust's East Midlands Waterway Partnership on 15 November.
Danny Brennan, our East Midlands Waterway Partnership chair, said; "As a charity, the Canal & River Trust is all about how local waterways can enhance people's lives and waterside pubs and cafes are a great example of experiencing the waterways and their surroundings. There's nothing quite like enjoying a meal or a relaxing drink next to the water or heading to a waterside café for a warming brew after an afternoon walk.
"We've been delighted with the response we got from the public and we think they've chosen some great venues. With over seven hundred entries in this first year of the Waterside Hospitality Awards, the judging has been very competitive and we're really looking forward to announcing the winners on 15 November.
"We hope that by celebrating the great venues we've got here in the East Midlands we can encourage more people to visit their local waterway and encourage more pubs, restaurants and cafes to make the most of the waterside setting they enjoy to attract new customers."
As well as announcing the winners of the Waterside Hospitality award, the Waterway Partnership's annual meeting will be an opportunity to reflect, with visitors, partners and supporters, on what's been achieved on the region's waterways over the past twelve months. The meeting will also look to the future and how we can work more closely with local authorities, community groups, businesses and other organisations to realise the full potential of the East Midlands' waterways.
The meeting takes place at Quorn Country Hotel, Leicester Rd, Quorn, Loughborough LE12 8BB on 15 November between 6pm and 8.30pm