Lady luck shone on a Nantwich couple for a second time when they won a hamper packed full of food, drink and other items.

Peter Jones and wife Jennifer, of Gingerbread Lane, had their name drawn out of a hat at the Nantwich Show where hundreds of people entered the draw contest on the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival promotion stand.

Amazingly they won the same draw last year and enjoyed dinner for two at Alvaston Hall.

Mr Jones, a professor at Keele University, said: “The chances of winning once are pretty slim, but twice in the same competition and on the same day are pretty amazing.”

The hamper, donated by Steve Lawson of Nantwich Bookshop, included wines, beers, pates, fresh fruit and cupcakes as well as a good book and travel rug.

It was presented ahead of this weekend’s food festival taking place September 23-25.

Meanwhile, thousands of fine food fans have cast their votes in a new award scheme celebrating the best of South Cheshire’s eating experiences.

The Dining Out Awards, being run in conjunction with this month’s Nantwich Food and Drink Festival, asks local people to nominate their favourite eating-out venue in the categories of Cafes, Pubs with Food, Restaurants and Hotels.

More than 30 establishments have been nominated and more than 2,000 votes cast on the food festival website.

Food festival volunteer Hector Robb, coordinator of the scheme, said: “We were conscious of including the large and the small, from the hotel providing a fine dining experience to the local café which does a great coffee and sandwich. And it’s not all about the food. A warm welcome and ambience are equally important.

“The results have been amazing. Scores of votes are tumbling in daily. We now plan to make the awards an annual event and widely-known as the Oscars of the local culinary world.”

Nominations are being accepted for establishments within a 15-mile radius of Nantwich town centre, bounded by the M6, A525, A49 and A54.

Among those in the running are Crewe Hall, Rookery Hall and Nunsmere Hall. Pubs include the Globe in Nantwich, The Thatch at Faddiley and Yew Tree at Bunbury. And restaurants include Bon Ami in Nantwich.

Among the cafés are Nantwich Bookshop Coffee Lounge and Enzo in Nantwich.

Winners will be announced after the festival September 23-25. For information on the weekend and the Dining Out Awards visit www.nantwichfoodfestival.co.uk

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