Kenilworth coffee shop named as best cafe in Coventry and Warwickshire

By Amanda Chalmers

21st Jun 2022 | Local News

Forrest Coffee House scooped the award just 18 months after first opening (Image via David Fawbert Photography)
Forrest Coffee House scooped the award just 18 months after first opening (Image via David Fawbert Photography)

A Kenilworth café has been been named as the best in Coventry and Warwickshire at an awards celebrating the region's hospitality businesses.

Forrest Coffee House - which was also mentioned in the Sunday Times last weekend - scooped the prize at the second Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards last week.

In partnership with Visit Warwickshire and Visit Coventry, the awards, hosted by Fargo Village in Coventry, brought together more than 50 businesses vying for success across 17 food and drink categories.

The finalists came under the scrutiny of a judging panel made up of some well known names in the industry, including Michelin Star chef Paul Foster, who runs Stratford's Salt restaurant, British Bake-off winner Candice Brown and food and drink broadcaster and champion Nigel Barden. Warwickshire food blogger Ellen Manning, of Eat With Ellen, also helped judge the Fine Dining Chef cook-off.

Winners were chosen from 17 categories that focus on quality, service and innovation with an emphasis on farm to fork, including a public vote Community Award, and new this year, a new special award honouring a Food Hero, sponsored by Visit Coventry.

And Kenilworth's Forrest Coffee House, which opened in November 2020, saw off competition from Coventry, Warwick and Studley to claim the best cafe or coffee shop award.

Speaking after the ceremony owner Molly Shanahan said: "We're thrilled to have won a Foodie Award for coffee shop of the year, we have had a whirlwind year opening Forrest in the midst of a pandemic and welcoming our son Ned into the world so this is just the cherry on top and credit to our wonderful team."

Forrest Coffee House was named as the best cafe in Coventry and Warwickshire last week

New categories this year also recognised foodie start-up - won by St Maur in Alcester; fine dining restaurant, won by The Loft in Coventry; fine dining chef of the year, won by Tobias Reutt of Earlsdon Supper Club and the international taste award, which went to The Cork and Tile in Stratford.

The celebrations continued afterwards with an awards party at The Sky Blue Tavern, hosted by Dhillons Brewery, including games and DJ.

Foodie Awards founder Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: "I must admit to feeling humbled and inspired following the Foodie Awards presentation event. Meeting all the finalists and hearing their stories, feeling their passion for what they do and seeing how wonderfully supportive the food and drink folk are towards each other, was amazing.

"Highlights were seeing the reactions of the winners and their delight at their success and especially hearing more about our Special 'Food Hero' award winner, Andrew Hartshorn from Finham Park 2 School.

"My thanks again to all those who entered the Foodie Awards, the businesses and organisations who sponsored the Awards and especially to all those who attended the Awards event and helped make it a most memorable evening."

The awards were hosted by Fargo Village in Coventry and brought together more than 50 businesses (Image via David Fawbert Photography)

The Awards also raised more than £500 through a raffle on the night for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Winners in Full:

  • Artisan Drink Producer Award: Napton Cidery – Napton-on-the-Hill
  • Artisan Food Producer Award: Vittle and Smoke - Southam
  • Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year Award: The Loft - Coventry
  • Fine Dining Chef of the Year Award: Tobias Reutt - Earlsdon Supper Club, Coventry
  • Food and Drink Experience Award: Enchanted Tea Room – Leamington
  • Young Foodie Award: Veg Food Enthusiast - Katie Todd, Henley-in-Arden
  • Foodie Start-up Award: St Maur - Alcester
  • Best Casual Dining Establishment Award: Dough and Brew - Warwick
  • International Taste Award Award: The Cork and Tile – Stratford
  • Farm Shop of the year Award: The Farm - Stratford
  • Independent Food or Drink Retailer of the Year Award: LOLA Provisions - Leamington
  • The Best Cafe or Coffee Shop Award: Forrest Coffee House - Kenilworth
  • The Best Pub or Bar Award: The Coach House – Stratford
  • The Street Food Trader of the Year Award: Boxx 'n Bar - Coventry
  • Best Casual Dining Chef Award: Sophie Hyam, Culinary Bites - Coventry
  • Employee of the Year Award: Kevin Prior – Metropolis Bar and Restaurant, Coventry
  • Community Award: Metropolis Bar and Restaurant - Coventry
  • Food Hero Award: Andrew Hartshorn, Finham Park 2 School - Coventry

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