THE best of Cumbria’s businessmen and women came together for a glittering and lively Westmorland Gazette Business and Tourism Awards.

More than 200 people put on their best frocks and tuxedos in a night which celebrated the variety of firms across the region and their achievements, at The Castle Green Hotel.

Guests at the 4th event of its kind were treated to a delicious three course meal and entertainment from Waiters Encore – a trio of opera singers disguised as waiters and chefs – delighted the audience who were soon on their feet.

And compere Norman Prince, former Houghton Weavers frontman, kept everyone laughing throughout the night.

Eleven awards were presented by a range of local people including ceremony sponsors and Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris.

The overall winner of the night – Business of the Year – went to Kendal firm The Ultimate Food Company, who have just secured a contract with the prestigious Fortnum and Mason.

Owners Bernice Humphreys and Carol Taylor, and development chef Nicola Smith were ‘stunned’ to take the prize.

Ms Taylor said: “Blimey! This is so good for all our staff – the Fortnum contract has really been a team effort – everybody has pulled together and we are so proud of them.”

Collections were also made at the award ceremony for The Westmorland Gazette’s Driving Hospice Care campaign. A staggering£515.50 was raised for the cause.

Other winners:

Team Award – Castle Green Hotel Green Award – Out of Eden Innovation and Technology – The Majik House Social and Community Development – Kendal Lymphology Centre Play to Stay – Lakes Lodges New Business of the Year – Alexander and Sancto Ltd Hotel of the Year – Castle Green Hotel Retailer of the Year – Country Harvest Training and Development – South Lakes Housing Tourist Attraction / Tour Operator of the Year – Grizedale Forest Business of the Year – The Ultimate Food Company