Why awards are so important!

I was a finalist in So magazine’s Lifestyle awards and it meant such a lot – it gave me a boost, made me feel valued by you all and also gave the blog and Tonbridge some extra exposure (thanks once again to everyone that nominated and voted for me).  Awards are really important to all businesses – they are a pat on the back, a marketing opportunity and a chance for businesses, large and small, to really think about where they excel.

I would love to organise some awards for Tonbridge businesses and I have sketched out a rough plan on the back of an envelope but in the meantime, there are lots of organisations running competitions and awards, looking for our nominations and votes!  As long as local businesses are recognised, that’s fine with me!  Traditionally (get me! so long in the tooth now!) I’ve supported the Kent Life Food and Drink Awards and I’m doing so again this year – please consider voting for your favourite local food or drink business or product in the 2018 Kent Life Food and Drink Awards.

Kent Cafe of the Year in 2016

Kent Cafe of the Year in 2016


If you follow Sulston’s Kitchen on Facebook or The Bakehouse at 124 you’ll know that the nomination window for the Kent Life FDAs was opened in May.  Sulston’s Kitchen won ‘Newcomer of the Year’ in 2016, the same year that Finch House Tonbridge won ‘Cafe of the Year’, just beating fellow Tonbridge finalist, The Bakehouse at 124.  In that year also, Ian Chatfield Butchers was in the running for Independent Food or Drink Retailer of the Year.  Last year we had two finalists, Sulston’s Kitchen for ‘Best Customer Service’ and Beyond the Grounds for ‘Cafe of the Year’ so Tonbridge has a great track record. 

Best Newcomer 2016

Best Newcomer 2016

It’d be great to see this good run continue!  

Kent Life editor, Sarah Sturt, has some words of encouragement! 

The Kent Life Food & Drink Awards are now open and it’s up to you to support your local traders by heading to and making your nominations in as many of the 12 categories as you wish. These range from Farmers’ Market of the Year to Café of the Year and Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year. Businesses can’t enter themselves, so they rely on you, their customers, to put them forward for one of these prestigious awards. Nominations close on 6 August 2018 and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

There are twelve categories and they can all be found here.  Please do nominate – not for me but for someone’s livelihood, their food and drink business that they started with passion and that makes them get up in the morning.  Don’t they deserve a pat on the back? 


p.s. if anyone has any ideas about awards for Tonbridge businesses (not just food and drink), please do get in touch! 

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