THE Best Restaurant/Dining Pub went to The Riverside Inn in Aymestrey.

Chef-patron Andy Link and sous chef Elliott Foote collected the accolade on the night from Mayor of Hereford Sue Boulter.

The other finalists in this category were The Beefy Boys at The Old Market Shopping Centre and The Bookshop in Aubrey Street - both in Hereford.

Andy said: “It was a bit of a shock. It is good to be awarded anything that reflects and showcases the county.

“It is such an outstanding area for produce and food. Any accolade relating to that is amazing and unexpected. It is a nice feeling.”

The Riverside Inn offers a menu of high quality restaurant food in a welcoming atmosphere.

Andy believes the produce in this region is the best in Britain and their menus are designed to showcase and advertise that fact.

They also have chef-managed gardens which allows their food to reflect the landscape, the seasons and the region.

They travel to all of their suppliers using as many local smallholdings and farms as possible, using fish from the river, honey from their hives, veg from their gardens and meats from local farms.

Even their snails, cheese and salad are from Herefordshire.

Before winning the award Andy said: “We (at the Riverside Inn) actively support, promote and represent what we believe Herefordshire does best.

“I grew up on a farm in Herefordshire - our food reflects traditional flavour which is given a modern unique reinvention.

“The experience of our guests is still of Herefordshire traditional values with oak beams, Herefordshire hops, local art on the walls and local ales and local cider on tap, and a log fire, whilst still enjoying high quality restaurant food.

“Our aim is to create an experience that showcase the traditions of Herefordshire with friendly service and an enjoyable welcoming atmosphere, alongside the best of the area’s produce, really immersing guests in the area.”

One of their core aims is minimising food miles. Suppliers are selected for organic, sustainable or ethical practices.

Their ethos of local sourcing is reflected in their drinks as well.

Andy added: “Our approach is a sustainable one with much of the land devoted to a low labour perennial approach to growing, with the ideal that certain plants are used in a permaculture way.

“For example we use comfrey to make organic fertiliser; borage and yarrow is grown to benefit insects and to encourage bees.”

Congratulations to all of our three finalists.