Cream of Industry take centre stage

Winners and some of the runners up from the Midlothian Food and Drink Awards held at Oxenfoord Castle
Winners and some of the runners up from the Midlothian Food and Drink Awards held at Oxenfoord Castle

The cream of Midlothian’s food and drinks industry tasted success last week when they battled it out for the county’s top honours.

Representatives of shortlisted local pubs, restaurants and food producers attended the fourth annual Midlothian Food and Drink Awards.

Organised by Midlothian Tourism Forum in association with Midlothian Council, the awards recognise the high standards in products and service offered by local businesses.

The awards were presented in the grand surroundings of Oxenfoord Castle, near Pathhead. Councillor Jim Bryant (SNP), the cabinet member for tourism, said: “These awards recognise excellence among local food producers, restaurants and caterers.

“The sheer number of votes and the wide range of producers, cafes, pubs and restaurants voted for, serve as a reminder of just how lucky we are to enjoy great food and drink on our doorstep.

“Well done to all our winners and runners up. With the Borders Railway opening in September, it will bring huge economic opportunities. I’m confident that it will mean millions more people get the chance to enjoy the hospitality of all businesses here tonight.”

Midlothian Food and Drink chairman Gordon Hodgson told the audience of shortlisted businesses and sponsors that 12,000 votes had been cast by members of the public this year.

He added: “There were 12,000 public nominations so whatever happens this evening, you as representatives of the trade should be very pleased with yourselves and very proud of yourselves.

“Whether you take the final award or not we have got 12,000 members of the public who have the confidence to vote for you.”

Mr Hodgeson said these were exciting times for the food and drinks industry in Midlothian with the opening of the Borders Railway on the horizon.

He added the rail link would change people’s perceptions of dining out in Midlothian. “It will begin to draw more people from Edinburgh to Midlothian rather than people from Midlothian going to Edinburgh.”

Mr Hodgeson said this year’s competition had been fierce with only two points separating the winner and runner up in the top award for customer service. All categories, with the exception of best producer and best outside caterer, were visited by a mystery shopper.

Best place for a coffee

(sponsored by Itihaas)

Winner - Little Italy, Edinburgh Road, Penicuik

Runners up - Cafe Panola, Pentland Plants, Loanhead, and Poddingtons Coffee House, Straiton Retail Park, Loanhead

Total category votes - 1331

Best place for a pint

(sponsored by Midlothian Tourism Forum)

Winner - The Dean Tavern, Main Street, Newtongrange

Runners up - The Black Bull, Lothian Street, Dalkeith, and The Paper Mill, Westmill Road, Lasswade

Total category votes - 1098

Best place for lunch

(sponsored by Springfords)

Winner - The Sun Inn, Lothian Bridge, Dalkeith

Runners up - Cafe Panola and The Paper Mill

Total category votes - 1518

Best Place for a Takeaway

(sponsored by Costco)

Winner - Dino’s, Clerk Street, Loanhead

Runners up - Itihaas Indian and Bangladeshi Restaurant, Eskbank Road, Dalkeith, and The Pennycook, Edinburgh Road, Penicuik

Total category votes - 1980

Best Outside Caterer

(sponsored by IKEA)

Winner - Deli-licious, Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead

Runners up - Stotties, Clerk Street, Loanhead, and The Wheelhouse Cafe, Main Street, Newtongrange

Total category votes - 705

Best producer

(sponsored by Busiess Gateway)

Winner - Stewart Brewing, Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead

Runners up - Macsween, Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead, and Totie Tablet, Campview Crescent, Danderhall

Total category votes - 970

Best place for dinner

(sponsored by Flowers by Lamb)

Winner - Itihaas Indian and Bangladeshi Restaurant

Runners up - Gigi’s Restaurant, Lothian Street, Bonnyrigg, and Little Italy

Total category votes - 2214

Best customer service

(sponsored by Arthur McKay)

Winner - Itihaas Indian and Bangladeshi Restaurant

Runners up - Gigi’s Restaurant, Lothian Street, Bonnyrigg, and Little Italy

Total category votes - 2181