Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 Awards

Person of the Year: for me, Mr Neil Kitchen, amazing Consultant NHS Neurosurgeon - quite simply he saved my life
Team of the Year: NHS staff up and down the country. It was wonderful, and a bit over the top, that I met so many in 2011...
Bravest people: The Hexham Hospital Cancer Support Group - it was a privilege to talk with and to them in the summer
Best Project: Hexham Hydro Project, who did so well to win the energyshare competition
Event of the Year: the Arab Spring - bigger than the Royal Wedding or the Euro Crisis: it changes everything

More importantly as I drive around the county I go to loads of pubs, teashops, businesses, B+Bs, etc so right to name a few who stood out:
Best coffee / tea shop: Mucho Gusto in Hexham; follow them on Twitter - who says our coffee and tea shops are not up to date? A coffee shop that does all the basics really well.
Best Cheese Scone: this is a dangerous call for any Northumbrian to make as there are so many contenders but the lady who runs The Old Church B+B at Chollerford is amazing at baking - ate too many of her scones when I walked past on the walk.
Best restaurant: probably La Bouchon in Hexham by a short head
Best Pub: The Battlesteads in Wark ticks so many boxes that it wins on so many levels, but honourable mention to the ever brilliant Barrasford Arms and the Wallace Arms at Featherstone, which is a genuinely great pub we should all go to for proper pub chat and good beer
Best Food: Breakfast at the Humshaugh House B+B - a place I stay in too regularly, particularly when I got snowed out last winter / spring

Local champions: for their effort for local causes without reward - Tom Martin, chair of Wylam Parish Council, East Tynedale Olympics and so much more, and the fascinating Robert Forsythe, who works tirelessly in Prudhoe - both would be good Local County Councillors, given the amount of public work they do.