St Albans food and drink awards St Albans City of ExpertiseVoting has opened for the St Albans Food and Drink awards with almost 350 nominations on the menu.

Set taste buds tingling by nominating your favourite eatery, pub, shop and food and drink producers for the St Albans Food and Drink Awards 2017. The poll is open to all with everyone encouraged to vote for their favourites in the online ballot.

Thirteen titles are up for grabs in the annual contest including best pub, best cafe and best market stall.

Also included are three new titles – best restaurant for a special occasion, best restaurant for everyday dining and best place to do business.

After the public vote is finished, the top three in each category will go through to the final stage of the competition.

They will be judged by the Festival steering group, including food and drink experts, who will carry out surprise visits and tastings.

The nominations were made by the public in April and May. Every nominated business or individual that met the category criteria has been put forward for the vote.

For details on how to vote and for further information about the St Albans Food and Drink Awards festival, please go to: www.enjoystalbans.com/foodanddrinkawards.

The Food and Drink Festival, now in its tenth year, is organised by St Albans City and District Council.

It runs from Wednesday 27 September to Saturday 7 October and includes a wide range of activities such as cookery demonstrations and wine tastings.

One of the highlights is the St Albans Street Feastival on Sunday 1 October when the City Centre is closed to traffic and taken over by 80-plus food and drink stalls.

Once they have decided on the winners, the results will be revealed at a glittering Festival Awards Dinner at Sopwell House Hotel.

Members of the public and businesses can put forward nominations for the awards until Sunday 28 May. You can nominate using the online form at www.enjoystalbans.com/foodanddrink.

Award categories include:

• Best Pub
• Best Bar
• Best Café
• Best Local Producer
• Best Food & Drink Shop
• Best Market Stall
• Best Takeaway
• Most Family Friendly
• Best Newcomer