'We're excited but also nervous' - Café competing to be named UK's best

Inside Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham.

Inside Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham. - Credit: Shelly's Bistro

The owner of a café in the running to be named the UK's best has spoken of her excitement at being nominated for the award.

Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham has been nominated for Best Café/Bistro of the Year at the Food Awards England 2022.

The café, which is the only Norfolk business in the running, will first compete in the East category and if successful it will then go up against the other regional winners to be named the country's best.

Owner, Michelle Czarnecki, said she initially thought it was a joke when she received the news her business had been nominated.

A table of drinks and food at Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham.

A table of drinks and food at Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham. - Credit: Shelly's Bistro

She said: "We're all so excited, but we're also nervous, it's so special for our little business to be nominated and especially to be the only one from Norfolk competing.

"When we first heard about it, we thought it was a joke, we thought someone was trying to trick us."

Shelly's Bistro will close on Monday, June 6, and Tuesday, June 7, while Ms Czarnecki and her team travel to Manchester to attend the final.

If her business wins, Ms Czarnecki has promised to hold a big party at the café to celebrate.

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It comes as the bistro plans to offer a special menu and have a barbeque to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The menu, which will run on Friday, June 3, from 10am to 10pm, will see diners offered a Balmoral Steak Burger, Coronation Chicken Salad, and Right Royal Fish and Chips, along with other royal-themed items.

On Sunday, June 5, the venue will host a garden party with live music from Travis Graeme.

A table at Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham.

A table at Shelly's Bistro in Swaffham. - Credit: Shelly's Bistro

A number of other Norfolk businesses will also be at the awards ceremony.

Competing in the Restaurant of the Year category are Middletons, Benedicts, and Jorge's Restaurant in Norwich, along with The Ingham Swan and Wells Crab House in north Norfolk.