FOOD businesses across an area synonymous with James Herriot have been rewarded for their excellence at an annual awards ceremony.

Now in their sixth year, the Flavours of Herriot Country awards celebrate the best in the food and drink industry across the Hambleton and Richmondshire area.

Held at the Garden Rooms at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, a host of winners received awards, from tiny tea rooms to breweries and family butchers.

Among the winners were mother and daughter team Jayne Johnson and Katie Seal of the Mill Race Teashop near Aysgarth Falls in Leyburn.

They scooped Tearoom of the Year and were visibly moved as they collected their award.

The pair, who have only been in business for 18-months, said they were shocked and delighted to be chosen as winners.

Ms Seal said: “It is exciting to get this far.Running a tearoom is something we had always wanted to do and it was just about finding the right place. We’re delighted.”

Thirsk-basked recipe box company Born and Bred were another fledgling business honoured with an award.

They came top in the Specialist Retailer of the Year group and were delighted with their success having only been running for just over a year.

The company supplies artisan recipe boxes with locally-sourced produce and meals designed by top chef Stephanie Moon.

Charles Allen, who runs the company with his brother Geoff, said: “We were shortlisted last year just after our launch and we have developed a lot of the business since then.

“We had no expectations to win and it is just amazing, it is great for the team.”

Irene Myers, chair of the awards, said there had been a record number of entries this year and the standard was incredibly high.

She added: “Just to see how much winning the awards means to them, it is very touching and humbling and I am sure it will put them on the map even more than they already are.”

The winners were chosen after they were visited undercover by one of of ten expert judges, or where relevant, produce was sent to the judging panel.

Chair of the judges, Susie Brindley said all the finalists were “absolutely excellent”. The awards were presented by BBC York’s Ellie Fiorentini with entertainment from opera singer Jacob Walsh.