A BLACKPOOL-based dining club hosted the great and the good from the world of food at its annual awards ceremony.
Whitehills-based Hi Life presented its gongs – known as the Hildas throughout the industry – to chefs and restaurants from across the British Isles at a special event held in Manchester’s Midland Hotel.
Then firm currently employs 12 people at its Blackpool office and the awards nominees and winners were voted for by the dining public.
More than 250 Lancashire restaurants have signed up to the dining firm’s club – which includes 3,500 restaurants across the UK.
The awards were presented by television presenter and journalist Paul Ross. Stars from stage, screen and sport joined him to present 13 awards to some of the best UK restaurants and chefs.
Hi Life’s commercial director Lisa Lund, from Fairhaven, said: “It was a fantastic showcase of the very best in dining excellence and congratulations to all our winners and short-listed entries.
“The calibre of participants this year has been exceptionally high. With more sponsors and partners than ever before this has been our most successful event to date and I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful support and enthusiasm, including, in particular, our loyal Hi-Life Dining Club members and restaurants.”
More than £10,000 was raised for the Five Stars Appeal during the evening. The charity is raising funds for an MRI scanner for Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The dining club now boasts more than 200,000 members alone, but has a much broader reach thanks to joining other organisations.
Since joining the business in 2009, as well as the day-to-day of running Hi-Life Diners Club, Lisa and the team have also brought on board a number of other business partners including The Telegraph Subscribers Dining Club, Lakeland, O2, EDF, Meteor Ireland and Trevor Sorbie salons throughout the UK. The combined total dining audience is now in excess of half a million showing significant growth on previous years.
The North West award this year went to Grenache in Walkden, Worseley.