THERE was double delight for a popular café nestled on the hills as they scooped two accolades at the FreeFrom Eating Out awards.
The Olive Tree bistro café at Totties Garden Centre in the Holme Valley took silver at the 2017 event but this year went one better to clinch gold in the café and teashops category.
And the business, run by Sue and Robert Brimble, was also named as runner-up in the best overall award.
The awards, now in their fifth year, recognise local shops to multi-chain restaurants with the same goal – safe and delicious food for diners with any food allergies or intolerances.
Sue and Robert said: “A special thank you to our fabulous kitchen and front of house teams for embracing our ethos with such passion and enthusiasm.”
All winners were visited by secret diner-judges all of whom are coeliac or are food intolerant themselves.
The judges found the 80-cover Olive Tree to be a “top restaurant quality in a garden centre café with helpful, well-trained, friendly staff who are rightly proud of their cafe.”
They added: “The flavours were exquisite and the portion size just right. A gem…”
Serving everything from breakfasts to afternoon teas, Sunday lunches to celebration spreads, their reputation for freshly produced, tasty food spreads far and wide.
As an extra tempter, the bistro is licensed for that welcome glass of wine or pint of ale, and there are stunning views from the terrace, as well as the extensive garden centre to browse.
FreeFrom in food service has grown dramatically over the last five years but there is still a long way to go as witnessed by recent inquests into the deaths of two young girls from eating foods to which they were allergic.
The awards believe when an eaterie is not only super allergy aware but also offers both delicious food and good service, they should be awarded.
And so excellent was the offer in all three departments this year that judges handed out a record number of gold awards.
Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, awards director, said: “The overall standard of entries this year was extraordinarily high.
“It appears that if an eatery decides to go ‘freefrom’ they do it 110 per cent and nothing is too much trouble to ensure their guests are not only kept safe but have a really enjoyable eating experience.”
Full details of the 2018 winners are on the awards website: www.freefromeatingoutawards.co.uk
Totties is open seven days a week, including Bank Holidays at Downshutts Lane, Totties, Holmfirth, HD9 1AU or visit their website: www.tottiesgardencentre.co.uk