Sterling success again, for two of our Little Gems

At Little Gems, we pride ourselves on being everyone’s local. A place where every man, the family and even their dog can sit, relax, enjoy drinking and dining in comfortable, relaxed surroundings. Our philosophy? That no reasonable request or demand is too high. Our aim? To cater across the board and provide delicious options for all of our diners. As knowledge about nutrition, allergen awareness and intolerances has grown, so too have we adapted and worked hard to incorporate this into our seasonal menus. We even encourage your little diners to try dishes from our main menu by providing smaller portions just for them.

Following the success of three of our pubs winning awards last year, and keen to put our “Free From’ culinary and allergen awareness skills to the test again, we decided to sign ourselves up for the 2018 Free From Eating Out Awards.  The Free From Eating Out Awards is an annual nationwide competition which aims to seek out the best restaurants, pubs and cafes catering for special dietary requirements in the country. Led by a distinct, consumer demand and call for more clarity and choice of free-from food options, as reflected in an exponential growth in sales of free-from food items, a market which is predicted by the leading market intelligence agency Mintel to “reach £673 million by 2020”, allergen awareness is an increasingly important factor for caterers to take into consideration when formulating menus in the eating out sector. Alongside its foodservice counterpart, The Free From Food Awards, this competition aims to promote and encourage companies who comprehend the importance of catering for restricted diets, allergies and reward innovation; dishes or products that can “rival if not excel, their ‘normal’ offer.” A perfect platform not only to benchmark, see where we fit in the current market but a fantastic springboard from which to improve still further.

After the initial shortlisting process, we were pleased to announce that two of our five pubs had been selected for the second year running for the awards in the Pub restaurant category: The Old Queens Head in Penn, High Wycombe, The Swan Inn, Denham Village, Uxbridge.

And the results on the day? A resounding success. A proper pub serving proper British grub, The Old Queens Head in Penn, High Wycombe was awarded a Gold. The OQH was heralded for their breadth of menu choice and options for allergy sufferers, their helpful staff, attention to detail and overall customer service.

Making free-from dining out a walk in the countryside, the Swan Inn in Denham Village also received a Gold. It was applauded for its “separate dairy free and gluten free menus…great selection of dishes, and the separate allergen sheet with the day’s dishes” allowing for “easy navigation” for the incognito judge who had an egg allergy.

Speaking on behalf of Little Gems, Millie Ashworth (our HQ Head of Happiness and Productivity) was overjoyed with the results.

“We were delighted to have been selected for awards two years in a row at the Free From Eating Out ceremony. As a company, we are proud of our talented members of staff and have faith in their ability to be able to cater for everyone and provide that first-rate service.  For us, it was a logical step to recognise and act on the allergies/intolerance that dictate our customers’ lifestyles. It is great that our General Managers, Head Chefs and the teams have been recognised for the time, effort and passion they dedicate to accommodating all of our customers’ needs so that everyone can feel right at home.”

What a sterling success for our Little Gems at the culmination of a great year. Let’s see if in 2019 we cannot raise the bar a little higher and go for gold all round! 


Little Gems attending the Free From Eating Out Awards Ceremony