With over 150 waterside watering-holes across the East Midlands, we are encouraging people to visit their local canal or river and have their say on the best place for a bite to eat or a leisurely tipple.
The Waterside Hospitality Awards celebrate the huge variety of waterside venues across the East Midlands, from lockside tea rooms, to city centre restaurants and even floating pubs. Members of the public are being asked for their views on the quality of food, drink and service offered by venues but also, importantly, how they make the most of their waterside setting.
With summer in full flow and a Bank Holiday on the way, waterside pubs, cafes and restaurants are a great way of making a cycle ride, a towpath walk or a boat trip that little bit more special. Many are also popular stopping points for passing boaters, helping to welcome visitors to the area and boosting tourism.
The awards are divided into two types of venue, cafes and pubs/restaurants, with three awards in each category: food and drink; service and value; and waterside setting. The winners of each, and the overall winners, will be announced at a ceremony in November.
Nominations can come either from members of the public or venues themselves in the form of a really simple online survey. A judging panel will then choose a shortlist of finalists with winners to be announced at the Trust's East Midlands Annual Public Meeting in November.
Danny Brennan, chair of the Canal & River Trust's East Midlands Waterway Partnership, said; “The East Midlands boasts some wonderful waterside eateries but we want to find the best of the best and celebrate what makes them so special.
“Waterside pubs, cafes and restaurants are always really popular and help to add colour and character to the waterways. They also help to attract people to the waterways, whether for a stroll, as part of a day's fishing, a stop-off during a bike ride or just some fresh air and fresh perspective. That's really important to us as a charity. The more that people visit, the more they'll value their local canal or river and maybe want to help the Trust to protect its wildlife and character for future generations.
"Do you think your canal or riverside and its hospitality is the best in the East Midlands? Then join the hunt! Head down there, try the local pub, restaurant or café, then go online and tell us. Help us find and celebrate the East Midlands' best waterside venue."
Nominations for the Canal & River Trust's Waterside Hospitality Awards can be made at Waterside Hospitality Awards. Nominations close on 30 September and the winners will be announced at the Annual Public Meeting of the East Midlands Waterway Partnership on 15 November.