A restaurant in Llanwrtyd Wells has a shot at winning a prestigious award which celebrates rural food and drink businesses.

The Drovers Rest Restaurant is in the running for a ‘Rural Oscar’ otherwise known as a Countryside Alliance Award.

The Countryside Alliance Award is an annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage which is now in its 13th year.

Owner Peter James, who has almost 30 years of trading experience, says it is “really rewarding” to have been shortlisted as a Welsh finalist.

When the Meals on Wheels came to an end, Mr James, a town councillor and former mayor, and his sister Paulette Reed, who helps run the business, decided to set up ‘The Golden Lunch Club’. It’s a club which offers a two-course meal using local food produce for the town’s elderly community to dress up and socialise with each other.

“It gives people self-respect and makes them feel part of the community. We’re lucky to have a community that looks after the older generation,” Mr James said.

“It’s not just a luncheon club, everyone looks after each other. More and more rural services are being lost and smaller businesses are filling that gap.”

He added: “It’s really rewarding to know that what we’re doing is being recognised.”

More than 17,000 nominations were received this year, across five categories such as best local food and drink, village shop or post office, butcher, rural enterprise, and pub.

The Drovers Rest is up against Beacons View Tearooms, in Libanus; Crwst, in Cardigan

and The Decent Company in Clydach, near Abergavenny.

Sarah Lee, Countryside Alliance awards director, said: “We received a record breaking 17,000 nominations this year showing just how much the public values and supports our hard-working rural businesses.

“All of the finalists should be really proud to have gotten this far as it shows just how valued they are in their rural communities.

“The Countryside Alliance is honoured to offer a voice to rural business in this way and recognise all the hard work that is done.

“I look forward to getting out and visiting these fantastic businesses as judging gets underway.”