The 43-year-old actress beat Helen Mirren, Emily Blunt and Tilda Swinton to win the prize for her role as Lady Susan in the Jane Austen adaptation. Looking stunning in a gothic-style black dress, Kate was presented her award by U.S. actor Danny Huston, and beamed from ear to ear as she revealed her delight at the victory to the star-studded audience inside Claridge's Hotel.

Hugh Grant was named Best Actor, thanks to his hilarious yet touching portrayal of St. Clair Bayfield, the husband of Meryl Streep's title character, in Florence Foster Jenkins. Among his competitors were Dev Patel, Russell Tovey and Dave Johns.

It was also a hugely successful evening for Ken Loach's film I, Daniel Blake. As well as taking home the Everyman Award for Best Film, the movie was also presented with the Most Powerful Scene Award, while Hayley Squires was named Best Supporting Actress for her role as single mother Katie in the film, which tells the tale of a 59-year-old Newcastle joiner who struggles with the benefits system after a heart attack leaves him unable to work.

Meanwhile, the Best Supporting Actor gong went to Arinze Kene for his role in The Pass, a film which explores the very topical issue of homophobia in football.

Other big winners of the evening included Bridget Jones's Baby, which took home the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, and was accepted by the author of the book on which it was based, Helen Fielding.

Before the Flood, which was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, took home the Best Documentary award, with director Fisher Stevens collecting the gong.

Rounding out the evening, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them had clinched The Editor’s Award in partnership with Claridge’s.

The full list of winners at the Evening Standard British Film Awards is as follows:

Best Actor: Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

New West End Company Award for Best Actress: Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship

Best Supporting Actor: Arinze Kene, The Pass

Best Supporting Actress: Hayley Squires, I, Daniel Blake

Everyman Award for Best Film: I, Daniel Blake

Best Documentary: Before the Flood

Amanda Eliasch Best Screenplay Award: Guy Hibbert, Eye in the Sky

Peter Sellers Award for Comedy: Bridget Jones’s Baby

Malone Souliers Award for Breakthrough of the Year: Florence Pugh, Lady MACbeth

Technical Achievement: Max Richter, Arrival (contribution of his music)

Most Powerful Scene Award, created by Finch & Partners and powered by Dean & DeLuca: I, Daniel Blake

International Film of the Year: Lion

Editor’s Award in partnership with Claridge’s: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them