2016 Winners

Green Company of the Year

Sponsored by 50 Cycles

We all want to ensure that Sussex is looked after and preserved in all its glorious beauty for generations to come. This company is environmentally friendly, sustainable and evangelical about issues affecting our countryside.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Entertainment Venue of the Year

Sponsored by Belle Tout Lighthouse

When entertainment is done properly, it can bring you memories that will last a lifetime. This could be music, theatre, comedy or in fact any form of entertainment.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Newcomer of the Year

Sponsored by Paint Pot

Our area is constantly evolving and moving with the times, with new businesses popping up on our high streets all the time. What’s new around you? A pub? A shop? A restaurant? This category was open to a company launched less than 18 months ago.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Tea/Coffee Shop of the Year

Sponsored by Bella Vou

We go to tea and coffee shops for the atmosphere, the service, the quality of the food and drink on offer, and of course the friendly faces that we see there.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Spa of the Year

Sponsored by Cuckfield Bathrooms

With the frantic pace of the modern digital age sometimes we all need some me-time. This spa is the perfect place to do just that. A real haven with beautiful décor and a tranquil atmosphere, quality and professionalism of treatments are vital.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Best Family Dining

Sponsored by Colliers Kitchens

Getting the generations together around one table can present its challenges. The best family dining winner will welcome young and old alike, be able to cope with all sorts of dietary requirements and quite literally have something for everyone.

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Hotelier of the Year

Sponsored by Rathfinny

The winner will have both passion and dedication for making sure their hotel runs smoothly, but that’s just the start. They take that extra step to provide a great service to customers and they know their local area like the back of their hand.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Restaurant of the Year

Sponsored by Nepcote Financial

Sussex is blessed with fantastic restaurants. Perhaps it was the local endeavour just around the corner that produces simple dishes but does them really well, has a great atmosphere and fantastic service.

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High Street Hero

Sponsored by Witterings Dental

With national companies dominating our high streets, local businesses have to offer something to stand out. We want to salute the people that make our high streets special.

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Pub of the Year

Sponsored by John Murray Butchers

For a favourite pub that could: serve Sussex ales and wine, host a great quiz night, support the local community or provide a haven for locals; or all of the above!

Click here to find out who won…

 

Sussex Visitor Attraction

Sponsored by Seaford College

We all know of at least one place in Sussex that we love to show off about to those unlucky enough to live elsewhere. We have dozens of iconic properties landmarks and attractions here.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Outstanding Customer Service

Sponsored by Cornerstone Environments

Nothing makes a business stand out more than excellent customer service, no matter the size of the company in question. It could be a maitre’d, a hotelier, or a cashier at the local pet shop.

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Farm Shop of the Year

Sponsored by Covers Timber & Builders Merchants

Here, provenance and knowledge are key to good customer service. Whether they are selling meat from their rare breed herd, honey from their own hives or homemade cheese, the winner must exemplify the field to fork philosophy.

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Food and Drink Innovation

Sponsored by Pac N Vac

The winner of Food and Drink Innovation could be a beverage, a sweet treat or even something like an app.

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Festival of the Year

Sponsored by Sussex Air Imaging

There are festivals here that celebrate food, music, fashion – pretty much anything, in fact. The festival of the year must be a fantastic addition to the local area, involving and celebrating local people, accessible to all and drives footfall and revenue into the county.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Services to the Community

Sponsored by Melrose Care

This person, company or organisation has local interests at heart and does a tremendous amount of good for their local area.

Click here to find out who won…

 

Sussex Life Hero

Sponsored by Pressleys Jewellers

This category celebrates those who make a tangible difference to the lives of people here in Sussex. This will be someone active in local charities or voluntary service who deserves recognition for their endeavours.

A Celebration of Sussex Life 2015 Winners

And the Winners Are:

 

Sussex Life Hospitality Hero winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Judges were looking for someone who showed dedication and passion beyond the call of duty.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: West Dean Chilli Fiesta

Highly commended: Melanie McAlpine, Fishers Farm

Highly commended: Lord March, Goodwood

 

Entertainment Venue of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

Nominees for this category were those venues that not only take their food and drink seriously but also have entertainment to match – from live music or theatrical performances to magicians and comedians.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Wickwoods

What the judges said: “The current owners have taken a bankrupt business and turned it into a success by focusing on entertainment events that deliver value for money, high quality and creative food (all locally sourced), great shows / artists with first class customer service. As with all the venues we visited, their passion and enthusiasm for what they are doing was inspirational!”

Highly commended: Ropetackle Arts Centre

Highly commended: Trading Boundaries

 

Services to the Community winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Whether providing after-school activities for children, assisting the elderly population with their grocery shopping or spending their time cleaning up the streets and parks, nominees in this category were all committed to their local community.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors

What the judges said: All three nominated charities are deserving of the award for their work, commitment and engagement with their local communities.  I was particularly struck by each group’s care, attention and energy on ensuring that the maximum resources are focussed on the people and groups that benefit most from their work.  They represent such a diverse range of needs that it was almost impossible to decide on one winner.  However, for the sheer energy, enthusiasm and dogged determination to start a charity from nothing and build and fund a community theatre group  from 12 to 100 young people in four years that empowers every one of its members to comprehend their unique value whatever their background or barriers; learn essential life and leadership skills in a mutually supportive and inclusive environment and pass on their confidence to benefit others in their community, the final award must go to Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors and their inspirational leader, Paula Woolven. Their ethos of confidence, creativity and consideration is more than a mantra, it is the essence of their success as individuals and their achievements in the community.  Oh, and they put on great shows!

Highly commended: Fareshare, Sussex

Highly commended: Active Sussex

 

Spa of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

Judges took into account the décor and atmosphere of spas nominated for this category, in addition to the quality and professionalism of treatments.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Utopia Spa, Alexander House Hotel

Highly commended: Uniquely Organic Eco Spa

Highly commended: The Spa @ The Grand

 

Butcher of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Judges were looking for a butcher who is an integral part of their community and contributor to the local food scene – nominees for this category offer fresh meat sourced from local farms that is good value for money

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: A C Coughtrey

Highly commended: Cowdray Farm Shop Butcher

Highly commended: Southdowns Venison and Game

 

Pride of Sussex winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

This award recognises individuals and businesses which actively and proudly promote the great local produce Sussex has to offer residents within the county and further afield.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Kathy Gore

 

 

Food and Drink Innovation of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Nominees for this category were new food or drink products that our readers couldn’t stop talking about

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Massis Tea

What the judges said: They have the most innovate product as we haven’t seen anything like this before. It tasted great and has a good range as well.

Highly commended: Wobblegate Pure Apple Juice & Cider

Highly commended: Higgidy Pies

 

Sussex Tourism Ambassador winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Judges were looking for a person or organisation goes the extra mile to increase tourism in Sussex, whether by producing an event, running a visitors’ website or just being a great ambassador for the region.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Brighton Marathon

Highly commended: Drusillas

Highly commended: Brighton Pride

 

Outstanding Customer Service winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Nominees for this category were places that blend warmth and courtesy with knowledge and efficiency. Judges were looking for service that was just right – not lacking, but not intrusive either.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Veasey and Sons Fishmongers

What the judges said: “Great service, going the extra mile and making you feel at home as one of their family.  There was no hard sell or awkward silences just great service.  Left premises feeling really great with what we had bought.  They really are professional at what they do, friendly and courteous. The food was very good too!”

Highly commended: Jeremy’s Restaurant

Highly commended: Crates Local Produce

 

 

Sussex Visitor Attraction of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

This award is for visitor attractions in Sussex that increase footfall into our wonderful county.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Weald and Downland Museum

What the judges said: This museum, which celebrates its half centenary this year, set in stunning Sussex countryside, is the worthy winner of this award. It exhibits buildings and gardens from many eras throughout history. The museum is run mainly by volunteers whose enthusiasm and knowledge shine through as they talk to adults and children alike.  The miller explaining the workings of the water wheel to turn the stones, which grind the corn, the smithy pumping the bellows to keep the fire in the forge blazing and the cook in the Tudor kitchen cooking bread over an open fire – all bring their surroundings to life entrancing visitors of all ages and nationalities. The museum also hosts many events, courses and talks throughout the year. It lives up to its vision of being a centre of excellence for the enjoyment, learning and understanding of the built environment, landscape, rural life and communities of South East England and the South Downs.

Highly commended: Drusillas

Highly commended: Pells Pool

 

Best Community Pub winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Judges were looking for those pubs that know exactly what is required to keep the regulars coming back – whether this was an inventive wine list or acting as a hub for the community.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: The George at Burpham

Highly commended: The Noah’s Ark Inn

Highly commended: The Bulls Head

 

High Street Hero winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Nominees for this category were independent businesses in Sussex that deserve to be in the spotlight

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Cocoa Loco

Highly commended: Cheese Please

Highly commended: The Hungry Guest Shop

 

Restaurant of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Judges were looking for restaurants that offer extraordinary service and delicious food to create a unique dining experience.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner:  Samphire

What the judges said: Samphire is a very exciting restaurant with tremendous atmosphere and character. The food was phenomenal, fresh, locally sourced, excellent flavours. The environment was lovely, managing to capture a beach hut feel and yet still be sophisticated and luxurious. I could tell that all the customers were happy, the staff were very helpful and attentive. In addition, I think Samphire brings in excellent business to East Wittering. Samphire captures the essence of Coastal Sussex and I would whole-heartedly recommend it to all Sussex Life readers and I fully intend on becoming a regular visitor.

Highly commended: The Leconfield

Highly commended: Jeremy’s Restaurant

 

Sussex Hotelier of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Awarded to the candidate who ensures the smooth and successful running of a hotel. A nurturing manager with an ever-present smile for guests.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winners: Peter and Deborah Hinchcliffe, Alexander House

Highly commended: Ben Booker – Ashdown Park

Highly commended: David Stott – Crossways Hotel

 

Best Family Dining winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

 

Judges were looking for the place that never fails to keep the kids happy, as well as their parents and grandparents.

 

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: The Loft at Sparks Yard

Highly commended: The Hearth Pizzeria & Bakehouse

Highly commended: Wishing Well Tea Gardens

 

Tea or Coffee shop of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: The Serious Sandwich

What the judges said: The serious Sandwich sparkles with cleanliness and at the same time looks friendly, rather than clinical. Deesha is most welcoming and professional. The menu is, obviously, mainly sandwiches – an amazing variety. All ingredients are locally sourced, including the bread – cakes are made by a local baker. Quiches are made by Deesha in her home kitchen.

Highly commended: Baked Worthing

Highly commended: Wishing Well Tea Gardens

 

Newcomer of the Year winner at The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards 2015

This category was open to anyone in the food or drink or hospitality industry who has started a new venture within the last 18 months.

The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are designed to champion, highlight and showcase our outstanding food, drink and hospitality industry. From local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers, all those shortlisted for awards care about the countryside and the future of our region. The companies featured were nominated by our wonderful readers before being visited or interviewed to determine a worthy winner by our handpicked panel of high-profile judges.

Winner: Curry Leaf Café

What the judges sais: As soon as you walk in to Curry Leaf Café  you know you are in for a treat, for it has a very special ambiance. Not very long ago Kanthi, a chef , and Euan, a food critic and journalist, teamed up to make their dream of running a café where authentic South Indian Street Food, sourced either entirely locally or from India itself, is served throughout the day. Their passion is palpable and their food is out of this world. Whilst they insist on café style informality, the actual menu in the evening is definitely of restaurant standard. The menu in fact not only varies depending on the time of day, lighter items being available at lunch time, but also changes six times a year, reflecting locally seasonal and festive variations. Kanthi’s blending of spices is inspired and rooted in his family’s kitchens in Bangalore. Euan has put his flair, not only into ensuring the café  truly reflects their core values, but also he prides himself on matching locally brewed beers to the variety of subtlety of the dishes on offer. Attention to detail and a desire to constantly assess and improve, as well as integrity in all aspects of the business are the hallmarks of this establishment that make it the outstanding winner of this category.

Highly commended: Indian Tadka Ltd

Highly commended: Wayfield Park Farm Shop