A Spalding restaurant can now claim to serve the best hot drinks in Lincolnshire after tasting success at the industry’s Oscars in London.
The Loft on Swan Street was recognised for its excellent quality at the Beverage Standards Association (BSA) Awards attended by guest of honour, double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
Staff from The Loft, including owner Sarah Brereton and manager Wayne Mansfield, went down to London’s Fulham Palace for the ceremony and were rewarded with a 3 Cup Accreditation, putting it among the top 60 establishments in Britain.
Wayne said: “A secret shopper from the BSA had lunch and three different drinks here a couple of months ago and then after a few weeks, we got a letter inviting us to attend the Awards.
“We felt quite out of our depth because we were among the elite of the industry and we assumed we weren’t going to get anything.
“But it turned out that we got a 3 Cup Accreditation and we’re really proud of it.”
The BSA’s accreditation schem is based on criteria, including taste, temperature and presentation, ranging from 1 Cup for Good to 5 Cup for Outstanding.
Wayne said: “Dame Kelly Holmes was at the awards because she is planning to open a coffe shop in the village where she was grew up and she was speaking to people about the industry.
“She was very down to earth and really accommodating, letting everybody have their picture taken with her.
“It was a nice opportunity to take our staff down to London and do something different, but the award is an even more nice thing to have.”
Dame Kelly said: “It was a pleasure to speak at the recent BSA Awards and meet so many passionate people in the industry.
“The quality of delivery needed to win a 3 Cup Award is so high, so I was delighted to present The Loft with the 3 Cup Accreditation and wish them well for the future.”
Ranald Paterson, chairman of assessors for the BSA Awards, said: “Regardless of whether an entry achieved 1,2,3,4 or 5 Cup Accreditation, all were winners in passing the very stringent standards set and judged in person by mystery assesors in 2013.
“Cup Accreditations have been proven to increase new custom by as much as 300 per cent as a BSA Award is a guarantee of high standards for drinks, service, comfort and value for money.”