The 2018 National Racecourse Catering Awards took place at Doncaster Racecourse in its brand new Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.
Now in its ninth year, the awards has become a staple competition for entries from horse racing venues around the UK.
This year saw Musselburgh Racecourse in East Lothian, Scotland, take home the top prize, bagging the Judges’ Award for Excellence in Catering.
Ascot Racecourse’s hospitality stalwart Osman El Tahlawi became the ninth person to be entered into NRCA catering hall of fame, taking home the Lifetime Achievement Award – there was even time for some words of congratulations from the Queen’s Representative at Ascot.
There were also awards for racecourses including Balmoral, Newcastle, Haydock Park, Salisbury, Worcester and Warwick.
Ivor Spreadbury, CEO of the National Racecourse Catering Awards, said: “I am delighted with the volume of entries this year and was particularly pleased with the amount of smaller racecourses which had entered some for the very first time.
“I was really pleased with the judges ‘decision to award Musselburgh Racecourse with the Catering Excellence Award and it was fitting that a large contingent from Musselburgh attended the ceremony to receive it.
Following the awards presentation by the sponsors, Halwood and Matthew Clark, guests were treated to some autumnal races.
Spreadbury added: “Next year will be the tenth anniversary of the awards and I hope that even more venues enter the awards, which have become highly competitive amongst all racecourses in the UK.”
Lifetime Achievement Award – Osman El Tahlawi, Ascot Racecourse
Judges’ Award for Excellence in Catering – Musselburgh Racecourse
People’s Choice Award – Beverley Racecourse
Best New Catering Concept – Balmoral Restaurant at Ascot Racecourse Certificate of Merit – Beach Pineapple Bar at Windsor Racecourse
Educational Award – Steven McFall from Musselburgh Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Life Water at Kempton Park Racecourse
Best Owners’ and Trainers’ Catering Facilities – Newcastle Racecourse
Best Bar – Ground Floor Millennium West Stand Bar – Wetherby Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Rose Bar at Ascot Racecourse
Best Fast Food Mobile Experience – Oh So British, Haydock Park Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Bennetts Tipple Ice Cream Cart Worcester Racecourse
Best Casual Dining (Section 1) – Edwardian Weighing Room, York Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Epsom bBr and Kitchen, Epsom Racecourse
Best Casual Dining (Section 2) – Vintage Afternoon Tea, Bath Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Woodlands Picnics, Newmarket Racecourse
Best Fine Dining (Large Racecourses) – On 5 Restaurant, Ascot Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Cheltenham Festival Restaurant, Cheltenham Racecourse
Best Fine Dining (Small Racecourses) – 1707 Restaurant, Warwick Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Worcester Racecourse
Special Award – Salisbury Racecourse
Small Racecourse Catering Award – Worcester Racecourse
Best Local Supplier to a Racecourse – TD Goodhalls, promoted by CGC Catering
Certificate of Merit – Wrexham Lager promoted by Banger on Dee Racecourse and Hall and Woodhouse promoted by Wincanton Racecourse
Most effective brand at a racecourse – Estrella Marstons promoted by ARC Catering
Certificate of Merit – Lavazza promoted by Ascot Racecourse
Best New Catering Product – Mug for Life promoted by Carlisle Racecourse and Verteda promoted by ARC Group Catering
Certificate of Merit – Vegware promoted by Musselburgh Racecourse
Best drinks supplier – Tanqueray Gin promoted by Newmarket Racecourse
Certificate of Merit – Ainsty Ales promoted by York Racecourse
Best Food Supplier – Zuidam Desserts promoted by ARC Group Catering
Certificate of Merit – Pretty Sweet promoted by Ascot Racecourse
Images: Andrew Kelly Photography