THE wait is over, we can finally reveal some of the best places to eat and drink in East Lancashire...as voted by you.

It is the second year of the Lancashire Telegraph Food and Drink Awards and they have been a resounding success with hundreds of readers nominating for and picking their favourite eateries in the area.

Great Harwood was the big winner walking away with 'Best Chippy' and 'Best Real Ale' establishment.

It is double delight for The Royal Hotel in Great Harwood as they followed up their celebrations from winning the 'Best pub' award in the inaugural awards with bringing home the 'Best Real Ale pub' in East Lancashire this year.

Neal Tripp, owner of The Royal insists it is great news for the village.

He said: "Great Harwood is an up-and-coming area for food and drink and this shows that.

"There are lots of other great establishments in the area and they should be up for the awards next year."

Mr Tripp praised his customers for getting behind them.

He said: "The Food and Drink Awards are a great thing to be involved in and for our customers and us to be in.

"It should be done more and more in different areas. We have got such a good following and it is good for them."

They took the title with 34 per cent of the vote followed by the Drummers Arms (29 per cent) and Grant's Bar in Accrington (17 per cent).

Also flying the flag and proving Great Harwood is the plaice to be for fish and chips was the Clacky Diner.

The Clayton Street outfit were one of the resounding winners with 47 per cent of the vote.

Owner Dan Poulter has been running Clacky D's since 2010 and they overcame the challenge of the Old Mill Hill Chippy (13 per cent) while the Cooking Pot in Knuzden (seven per cent) made up the top three.

The 41-year-old said: "It is great news and even better to know that so many people have been voting for us.

"We have got a lot of customers and they are quite loyal and there are others who come from all over the place such as Clitheroe and Whalley.

"They keep coming back and this award will be great for us.

"This is all about the staff too as they work so hard and we have set a standard and we will be keeping them high."

This year the awards have been spread out across East Lancashire with winners in Colne, Blackburn, Burnley and Oswaldtwistle.

The area has a reputation for fine cooked food and there is no better example of that than the winner of the 'Best cafe' - Pavilion Cafe in Alkincoats Park.

Beryl Horrocks and Eileen Eve took over as tenants at the cafe in May last year after they put together a business plan.

They pride themselves on their reputation for great food.

Beryl said: "Everything we sell is home made cakes and a lot of the dishes are made here.

"We also welcome a lot of dogs and their owners who go for a walk in the park and come in afterwards. We even feed the dogs some trimmings from the sandwiches. We also do a full English breakfast which is proving popular too.

"We are absolutely delighted and are grateful for the support of people.

"Since people have been nominating us we have noticed a lot more younger people coming to us and hopefully the award will spread the word."

Teas to Please in Colne claimed the runner-up spot with 29 per cent while third was Town Gate café in Great Harwood (20 per cent).

One of the most hotly contested categories this year was the 'Best Italian restaurant' with just six per cent separating top spot and runner-up.

The Pack at Belthorn eventually came away with the certificate by getting 46 per cent of the votes on social media while being run close by Mondellos at Crawshawbooth (40 per cent) and Amalfi in Darwen (five per cent).

Karl Elsworth, owner of the Pack, believes the award has given them extra reason to celebrate.

He said: "It is six years since we took over and we have come a long way so this is the perfect way to celebrate.

"We had a makeover last year to turn it into a modern and contemporary restaurant with some great features so it was our priority to try to win and we are delighted to win."

Meanwhile, a chinese eatery is hoping their award will take pride of place in their restaurant when they re-open their doors in the next few weeks.

Nhan Lieng, who ran the Guide Village Cantonese Restaurant in School Lane, Guide, with wife Sui for more than three decades, made the change to set up the To Be Vegetarian restaurant but closed last week as they try to make a few changes to their menu.

Mr Lieng believes it will be a massive boost for the company.

He said: "We were really surprised with all the tough competition in for it.

"We are really delighted and it has been tough to make the change to just vegetarian food with the non-vegetarians not giving us much of a chance.

"But we have closed to ask them to make changes to the menu and we are looking to re-open before Christmas.

"This is the best period for the food business so we want to take advantage."

Meanwhile. a tearoom named after a Crimean War general has taken home the 'Best New/Refurbished restaurant' award.

Carol Kerr, a former NHS patient advice liaison officer, fulfilled her life-long ambition after she opened up 'The Scarlett Tearooms' in Burnley.

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

The tearoom (50 per cent) held off the challenge with The Millstone at Mellor (39.6 per cent) and Turtle Bay in Blackburn followed up in third (4.1 per cent)

It was created on the site of the General Scarlett, a former Moorhouse Brewery pub named after Sir James Scarlett.

The business is ran by the mum-of-three.

Mrs Kerr, originally from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, said: "It is absolutely amazing to win this award.

"We've got some terrific staff and we have lots of loyal and wonderful customers.

"Since last July we've had birthday tea parties for people as young as three to 90-years-old.

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

"I even had a 70th wedding anniversary party here, that was great.

"Tearooms have become very popular nowadays and I felt it was right to open mine."

The resounding winner of the 'Best Gastropub' category went to The White Bull in Oswaldtwistle polling 62 per cent of the vote.

In second spot was the Park Inn in Accrington while taking a spot on the podium was The Clog and Billycock.

Meanwhile, Kebabish Original in Blackburn scooped the award for 'Best curryhouse in East Lancashire' ahead of Royal Taj in Langho (54 per cent) and Akash in Darwen(12 per cent).

Manager Shafaq Ghous said: "We are very delighted and a lot of hard work has gone in by the staff to get this award and it follows us being recognised on Trip Advisor for the past three years.

"We want to thank all the people who voted for us."