A PAIR of Ramsbottom restaurants have netted prestigious awards at this year’s Manchester Food and Drink Festival.

Levanter, an authentic Spanish tapas bar based in Square Street, won the award for Casual Restaurant of the Year, while Baratxuri’s Rachel Stockley, was named Chef of the Year.

Staff from both restaurants, which are co-owned by husband and wife Joe and Fiona Botham, were presented with the awards at the gala dinner held at Gorton Monastery on Monday night.

Ms Botham said: “We are thrilled to come home with ‘Casual Restaurant of the Year’ for Levanter, and the huge accolade of ‘Chef of the Year’ for Rachel Stockley, reflecting the long hours and personal commitment she’s put in to make Baratxuri the go-to destination to enjoy amazing Spanish wood-fired cookery in the North West.

"We’d like to thank all our wonderful team who work so hard across both restaurants, and of course our loyal customers who continue to support us and vote for us.

"We’re so proud to represent Ramsbottom and help it continue to make its mark on the food & drink scene in the region.”

Levanter beat off five other restaurants, including Manchester city centre duo Albert’s Schloss and Bundobust, to clinch their title, which Baratxuri also won 12 months ago.

Meanwhile Ms Stockley saw off competition from a number of the region’s best chefs, including Adam Reid, from Adam Reid at The French.

In the run up to the awards, the restaurants were ‘mystery visited’ by judges and voted for by members of the public.

The awards are the latest in a string of successes for Levanter and Baratxuri, which were both named in the official Good Food Guide last month.