THREE Italian restaurants in East Lancashire have been nominated in the The English Italian Awards.

Thousands of Italian businesses and venues across the country are eligible to take part in the English Italian awards.

Judges appointed by the Italian Awards secretly visit and score the Italian establishment.

Once nominated the public are invited to vote for their favourite Italian venues and businesses across England.

The five with the most votes in each category will make the final and are shortlisted for the final held in Manchester.

Burnley’s Bellissimo cafe bar has been nominated in the best Italian cafe category while Mamma Mia at Crossways, on Whalley Road, Padiham has been nominated in the 'Best Family-Friendly Restaurant'.

Eddies Wood Fired Pizza, Darwen has also received recognition and has been nominated in the 'Best Newcomer' category.

The owners of Burnley’s Bellissimo cafe bar, who were judged the number one in the country by the Italian Awards in 2015, said they have had to fight back from 'adversity'

Lynn said: "It's unbelievable.

"It has been a very upsetting year for us and we have through a difficult time.

"There used to be an Asian takeaway on Parker Lane which burnt down before Christmas last year.

"It ended up damaging our store.

"We have repainted the place and redecorated it and got rid of the horrible burning smell.

" The customers voted for us so we are on our way again.

"So we have bounced back and fought back from adversity.

"If we win it again we will have done it for Burnley."

Sylvia Seminar, co-owner of Mamma Mia at Crossways, has been in the business for 40 years.

She said: "We have entered for the awards in the past but this is the first time we have been nominated to be a finalist.

"I think this year a lot more people are aware of us.

"We are very excited.

"I'm just glad that so many people have voted for us.

"Somebody wrote on Trip Adviser in our last review and described the restaurant as 'welcomed into a big hug'

"I like that description very much."