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Shepherd Neame has been shortlisted for a Tourism South East Beautiful South Excellence Award – known as the ‘Tourism Oscars’.
The Visitor Centre, at the Faversham headquarters of Britain’s oldest brewer, is nominated in the Flavour of the South East category of the awards which recognise excellence, quality and innovation achieved over the last 18 months.
Category entrants must serve food and drink of the highest quality, including regional dishes. They must also show their contribution to the local economy through a commitment to local sourcing and communicate this to visitors.
Commenting on the award nomination, Maddy Carr, Tourism South East business development executive for Kent said, “In 2011 the ability to provide exemplary service and the highest quality is paramount. These Awards recognise those businesses that have been delivering to the highest standards and we’re delighted with the record number and quality of entrants. May I congratulate the Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre on being shortlisted and we look forward to seeing them on 1st December, when we announce the final results.”
Visitor Centre manager Graham Hukins said: “This is a wonderful accolade for our business as we work so hard to ensure the highest standards for our customers. A commitment to combining superb local produce with our award winning beers is central to our activities and is exemplified by our inaugural Christmas Beer and Local Food Festival later this month.”
The event takes place on Saturday 26th November in the brewery’s recently-launched functions and entertainment venue – The Old Brewery Store. Over 15 local producers will be exhibiting at the festival, displaying everything from pickles to ice cream and from game to cheeses.
Admission to the event is free and visitors will be able to sample traditional mulled ale, as well as discover which beers make an excellent accompaniment to Christmas dinner. The event runs from 10.30am – 4.30pm enabling visitors to attend the show before joining the celebrations to mark the switch-on of Faversham’s Christmas Lights in the town centre.
Following the festival, there are chances to enjoy superb beer and food at the Visitor Centre with Yuletide tours and tastings running in December along with Christmas-themed Beer and Food Evenings. The brewery shop is open Monday to Saturday and is packed full of great gifts – many of them produced in Kent.