Food & Drink

Sweet success: Manchester NQ gluten-free haven Tea 42 named best ‘FreeFrom’ café

Manchester-based eatery Tea 42 has taken the cake at the inaugural FreeFrom Eating Out (FFEO) Awards, being crowned one of the best places for diners with special dietary needs to eat out.

Tea 42 were named cream of the crop in the ‘Cafés, Coffee Houses, Tea Shops and Takeaways’ category at the award ceremony, which took place during the Food Matters Live event at the London ExCel earlier this week.

Despite having only opened last November, the café was runner-up for the overall award as well, and received a commendation in the ‘Pub Restaurant’ category.

Will Hannah, Managing Director of Tea 42, said: “We are really proud to have been recognised on a national basis for the achievements we have made in our first year.

“I am particularly pleased that the judges recognised the huge effort that the whole team has put in to create a restaurant where, whatever your food preferences, you can indulge and enjoy what the judges called our unique and trendy atmosphere.”

Tea 42 was described as being young and vibrant with impeccable service, while their dairy-free and gluten-free cakes were singled out as being ‘to die for’ by one member of the judging panel.

TAKING THE CAKE: Tea 42 were handed their award by Antony Worrall Thompson

The eatery, located on the High Street, lost out to Hertfordshire pub, The Alford Arms, for overall best establishment.

But with a further commendation in the ‘Pub Restaurant’ category, to serve as the cherry on the cake, Mr Hannah is pleased with such an impressive showing.

“These awards combined with the successes of the past year really give us the confidence to press ahead with the national roll out of the brand,” he said.

“I am really looking forward to announcing details of our next two sites in the coming weeks.”

Other competition categories included ‘B&Bs and Guest Houses’, ‘Food Manufactured for Food Service’ and ‘Schools, Colleges and Universities’.

The FFEO Awards were founded to highlight the culinary opportunities available for consumers with particular eating requirements, recognising establishments that provide products which exclude many allergens and artificial additives associated with food intolerance.

New allergen regulations, updating existing food information standards come into force in December, giving the event greater relevance at a time when producers need to make amendments to the way nutritional information is represented

The FFEO Awards are run by the same team that organise the FreeFrom Food Awards and the FreeFrom Skincare Awards, now in their seventh and third years respectively.

FreeFrom Food organisation’s patron Antony Worrall Thompson presented Tea 42’s accolade to Mr Hannah, and stressed the importance of viable alternatives in this area of gastronomy.

“The success of retail FreeFrom products illustrates how important FreeFrom options are,” the celebrity chef said. “The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are an exciting opportunity for this section of consumers.

“Notwithstanding, there is a lot of work to be done in food service, but these new awards will set a bar and encourage the pursuit of excellence across the industry.”

With Tea 42 making a serious impression in the first year of the FFEO Awards, the future looks sweet for Manchester’s FreeFrom food fans.

Main image courtesy of Google Maps with thanks.

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