BUSINESSES across the Ryedale are celebrating being shortlisted in the prestigious White Rose tourism awards.

The awards, which are described as the “the biggest celebration of tourism in the UK”, recognise the best businesses in Yorkshire.

The 17 categories cover everything from hotels to holiday parks, pubs to producers and arts to attractions. In the restaurant of the year category, the Pheasant Hotel at Harome and the Wentworth Restaurant in the Talbot Hotel, Malton, were two of a shortlist of six.

David Macdonald, general manager at the Talbot, said: “We are delighted that the Wentworth Restaurant has been shortlisted for restaurant of the year. Being located in Malton, ‘Yorkshire’s food capital’, food is at the heart of everything we do, not only in the restaurant, but also around the whole hotel, as well as in the town.

“An awful lot of work goes on behind-the-scenes in the Wentworth kitchen, so it is brilliant that this has been recognised.”

Dan Graham, head chef, added: “I have worked in kitchens all over the UK, and Yorkshire definitely has the best philosophy about food.”

The Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley was nominated in the small hotel of the year category.

Charles Merchie, general manager of the Feversham Arms Hotel, said: “We’re thrilled to have once again been shortlisted in the White Rose Awards. The awards recognise those businesses which are making a real impact locally, so to be a finalist is a real honour.”

Quality food is also recognised in the awards. The Cedarbarn Farm Shop in Pickering is nominated for the ‘Taste of Yorkshire Award’ - and in a separate awards scheme, it has been chosen to represent the North East at the National Family Business Awards.

Mandy Avison, from the shop, said: “It is a great honour to be shortlisted for these awards. The White Rose Awards are incredibly well respected in Yorkshire and to be ranked amongst the best in the county is very rewarding.

“Similarly, to be chosen to represent the North East on the national stage for the Family Business Awards is a wonderful way to mark our tenth anniversary and the whole team has their fingers tightly crossed.”

Ryedale and the surrounding area has three nominations in the holiday park of the year category; Forest Holidays in Keldy, the Vale of Pickering Caravan Park and Humble Bee Farm near Scarborough.

Julia Warters, owner-manager of Humble Bee Farm, said: “We are thrilled to make the shortlist once again. It is such an honour to be selected, as there are so many worthy businesses out there. We wish everyone who’s made the shortlist the very best of luck.”

Ryedale nominations in other categories include the Black Swan Hotel, Helmsley making the shortlist for large hotel of the year, Scampston Hall & Walled Garden being shortlisted for small attraction of the year, and the vast North York Moors Chamber Music Festival nominated as Tourism Event of the Year.

A thousand people will attend an award ceremony later this year when the winners and runners up will be announced.