Photograph shows a Warwickshire breakfast, served up in McKechnies in Stratford.
The Coventry & Warwickshire Food & Drink Awards are well underway and the shortlist of finalists has been announced. It goes without saying that teashops and caffs have a category of their own in the awards (Best Coffee House/Teashop) and that there are three worthy contenders for the title.
The three finalists are Bread & Co in Leamington; McKechnies, an independent tea and coffee bar in Stratford; and the Hatton Locks Café in Hatton.
The main objective of the awards is to recognise and reward quality, and where the coffee house and teashop category is concerned, it's all about those committed to providing their customers with fresh, local produce, a wide range of beverages (hot and cold) and a good range of cakes, biscuits and light snacks.
McKechnies looks like an interesting place. It offers its customers 17 different types of tea for a start, locally sourced food and an award-winning coffee in Formula 6 supplied by James' Gourmet Coffee Company. The food looks amazing too and if you log on to the café's website (www.mckechnies-cafe.co.uk) you'll notice that a Warwickshire breakfast is well worth ordering. It consists of dry cure bacon, Hatton sausage, field mushrooms, fresh beef tomatoes and a free range egg. It can be served with thick-cut granary or white toast, home-made strawberry jam or three-fruit marmalade.
The Hatton Locks Café looks good too, although its website wasn't quite finished when teashopandcaff took a butchers. This canalside restaurant, which used to be a stable for barge horses, must be a hit with those on canalboat holidays. According to owner Lynn Drane it's also a hit with walkers.
Bread & Co in Leamington Spa is a fine foods and bakery shop offering artisan breads, cakes and pastries plus sandwiches, salads, 'delicious' coffee and treats. "A warm welcome awaits you,' claims the company. Bread & Co, incidentally, is also shortlisted in the Champion of Local Produce (retailer) of the awards.
If you want to know more about the awards, click here.