2018 Winners

Winners announced for the Taste of Kent Awards 2018

The winners of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards 2018 have been revealed, Thursday 8 March at a glittering black-tie dinner at the Kent Event Centre. Kent’s ultimate food and drink champions have been crowned, from the tastiest food and drink products, best producers, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent comments: “Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. They should be thrilled at making it through to the final phase, as the results are always close and the judging is difficult as the standards are so high. The winners have however shone above the competition to be named the tastiest or the best. We were delighted this year to see some new names amongst the finalists including, Barham Village Store, Southborough Butchers, Austen’s, Rockin Robin, Turners Cider, The Buoy & Oyster, The Carriage Restaurant and Hop & Huffkin.  There are also more finalists from the Weald of Kent too. Thousands of people and producers have taken part in the voting from all over the county and beyond. The people of Kent have chosen the flavours, products, produce and venues they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months. For the winners, these awards are the ultimate accolade from their customers and confirmation of their food and drink excellence.”

Victoria Symons, head of the Food and Drink team at Cripps, said: “As committed supporters of the Kent food and drink industry we are extremely proud to have been the main sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards for the seventh year running.  As you would expect, the standard of nominations has been exceedingly high and reflective of the rich and diverse range of food and drink businesses we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.”

The winners are:

Garden of England Champion Top Fruit, sponsored by BTF Partnership


Banfields Farm Horsmonden – Comice Pears

A J Bray & Son Faversham – Jazz apples

Kent Beer of the Year, sponsored by Eurostar

Winner: Gadds No.3 – Ramsgate Brewery


Runners up:

Goodness Gracious Me IPA – Goody Ales

Reliant Robin – Rockin Robin Brewery

Garden of England Champion – Cherries and Soft Fruit, sponsored by Kent County Agricultural Society


Brian Piper, Filmers Farm, Loose, Nr Maidstone – Cherry (Van variety)

J Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester Strawberry (Magnum variety)

J Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester Raspberry (Tulameen variety)

Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy LLP

Winner: Elderflower Cider – Turners Cider – Marden


Runners Up:

Kentish Discovery – Kentish Pip – Bekesbourne

Wise Owl Bittersweet Dry Still Cider – Wise Owl Cider – High Halden

Kent Countryside Award sponsored by Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Joint winners:

AC Goatham & Son, Medway

Roundoak & Kings Oak Farm Sutton Valence


Highly Commended: Eckley Farms Staplehurst

A Unique Community Award: Spadework Offham

Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual

Winner: Bacchus 2016 – Chapel Down – Tenterden


Runners Up:

Ortega 2016 – Biddenden Vineyards – Biddenden

Sparkling White 2013 – The Mount Vineyard – Shoreham (Sevenoaks)

Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Opies

Winner: Austens of Rochester – Rochester


Runners Up:

Barham Village Store – Barham

Macknade Fine Foods – Faversham

Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Thomson, Snell & Passmore

Winner: The Buoy & Oyster – Margate


Runners up:

The Carriage Restaurant – Faversham

The Corner House – Canterbury

The Mulberry Tree – Boughton Monchelsea

Kent Butcher Shop of the Year

Winner: S.W.Doughty – Doddington


Runners Up:

Southborough Butchers – Tunbridge Wells

Stour Valley Game – Chilham

A wide range of products have also been entered for the Kent Food Product Classes Awards, sponsored by Shepherd Neame. These classes are not open to public vote and products are submitted by the businesses to an independent expert panel who then select an overall winner.
Winner Specialist Drinks – Craft Mead with Kent Golding Hops, Marourde – Mereworth  
Highly Commended – Canterbury Gin by Canterbury Brewers and Distillers
 Winner Bakery and confectionery – Stoneground Wheat and Barley Flour, Pure Kent -Staplehurst  
 Winner Dairy – Pure Whole Milk, Plurenden Manor Farm – High Halden  
Winner Prepared food – Habanero Chilli Biltong, North Downs Real Food – Lenham  
Winner Ambient – Oak Smoked Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Pure Kent – Staplehurst  

Kents Tastiest Juice of the Year, AC Goatham & Son

Winner: Spiced Kent Apple Juice – Owlets Fruit Juice Lamberhurst


Runners Up:

Apple & Cherry Juice – Chegworth Valley – Harrietsham

Apple Juice – Biddenden Vineyards – Biddenden


Kent Dining Pub or Bistro of the Year, sponsored by University of Kent

Winner: The Ferry House Inn, Isle of Sheppey


Runners Up:

The George Inn, Molash

The Hop & Huffkin, Sandwich


Kent Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Shopper Anonymous

Winner: Bessie’s Tea Parlour – Broadstairs


Runners Up:

Sissinghurst Pigs – Sissinghurst

The Chai Stop – Minster, Thanet


Kent Food Product of the Year, sponsored by HSBC

Winner: Craft Mead with Kent Goldings Hops, Marourde –  Mereworth

 The Produced in Kent Award was made to William Opie, former Chairman of Produced in Kent and Director for his constant support as a founding member and a true ambassador for Kent food. He has been a champion for the whole independent food sector across Kent and helped Produced in Kent members grow to a combined turnover of £370m per year.

The awards dinner was catered for by Jason Freedman at Curiously Kentish from Birchington and the drinks reception was sponsored by a new sponsor this year, Synecore, Detling.