DURING the recent Hampshire Food Festival, 15 restaurants, tea rooms, pubs and cafes across Winchester and Test Valley districts were presented with local produce awards as part of the Hampshire Hospitality marquee, a new quality assessment scheme piloted on behalf of the regional tourist board, Tourism South East.

Thirty-one food and drink businesses from the Winchester City Council and Test Valley Borough Council districts signed up for the free pilot scheme and underwent a mystery shopper' assessment in June.

The trained assessors considered every aspect of the customer experience including cleanliness, hospitality, service and efficiency, presentation and food quality.

Winners were awarded certificates from Simon Wright who was previously editor of the AA Restaurant Guide and is now consultant to Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on Channel 4.

Winners of the local produce award also benefit from a year's free affiliate membership of Hampshire Fare, to help them promote their business and use of locally-sourced food for their menu.

Venues receiving the local produce award include, in Winchester: The Forte Brasserie & Tea Rooms; Hotel du Vin & Bistro; Lainston House Hotel; The Old Chesil Rectory; The Old Vine pub; The Willow Tree pub; Winchester Cathedral Caf and Winchester Hotel; in Wickham: Greens Restaurant and Bar and The Old House Hotel; Caracoli in Alresford; The Amport Inn in Andover; Barringtons Delicatessen in Bishop's Waltham; Sir Harold Hilllier Garden caf and Clos du Marquis in Stockbridge.