On Tuesday, we suited, booted and glammed up for an evening of celebration at the Underglobe beneath Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on London’s Southbank. The 200-strong crowd consisted of mostly eviivo customers with some eviivo staff, journalists, travel bloggers and VIPs.
Check out some of the photos from the event here:
The evening included a three-course meal, wonderful entertainment and a lot of celebration. The theme of the evening was ‘stories to tell,’ and as well as Shakespeare himself, our guests were very much at the core of that. And some of the guests that attended the evening had their own literary story to tell. Sara from The Leather Bottle in Cobham, near Gravesend told us that their inn was actually written about by Charles Dickens in The Pickwick Papers. And he stayed there many times as it was his favourite ale house. We also spoke to Howard and Mark from Plas Tan-Yr-Allt Historic Country House, near Porthmadog in Wales who told us that Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelly rented the house from 1812 -13, and completed his poem, Queen Mab, there. Whilst staying there, he even survived an assassination attempt! Finally, we spoke to Margaret from the Queens Head Inn, Tirril, near Ullswater, who told us that her inn was once owned by William Wordsworth’s brother and William himself actually managed the inn until his nephew came of age.
We believe that it’s stories like these that make the independent hospitality industry so unique and special, and something you just wouldn’t find at one of the bigger hotel chains.
We received hundreds of entries for the Awards this year, which made it extremely difficult for the panel of judges, which included BBC TV personalities Prue Leith and Sophie Robinson, as well as members of the travel press and industry experts, to decide on the finalists and, ultimately, the winners.
With so many good places to choose from in each award category, it really was the tightest of margins that decided the winners, and we would urge finalists to enter again next year. The Awards are run every year, with previous winners not eligible for next year, although we will be involving them in some of the shortlisting and judging processes.
It was fantastic to have so many of the 2016 finalists with us on the night, and we hope they will display their runners-up certificates with pride, as to reach the final ten properties in any category, from the more than 6000 properties we work with, is in itself a fantastic achievement.
So without much further ado, here are your 2016 eviivo Award winners:
Tastiest Breakfast (presented by TV personality Prue Leith)
Winner: Amber House in Alrewas, Staffordshire
Outstanding Host (presented by Hotel Owner Magazine editor, Michael Northcott)
Winner: The Ellerby Country Inn in Whitby, North Yorkshire
Budget with a Twist (presented by David Weston)
Winner: Waves Guest House in Blackpool, Lancashire
Most Beautifully Presented (Presented by TV personality Sophie Robinson)
Winner: Lisnacurran Country House B&B in Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Quirkiest Place to Stay (presented by Travel GBI magazine editor George Clode)
Winner: Snooze In Brighton in East Sussex
Star Among Stars (presented by journalist Martin Dunford)
Winners: Llwyn Helyg Country House in Carmarthenshire, Wales
Wales – Llwyn Helyg Country House in Carmarthenshire
Northern Ireland –The Gregory Guest House in Belfast, Antrim County
Scotland – The Inn at Kippen in Stirling
South West – Wheelbrook Mill in Bath
South East – Barclay Farm House Bed and Breakfast In Biddenden, Kent
The Midlands – The Limes Country Lodge in Warwickshire
Yorkshire – No. 21 York in North Yorkshire
North West – Ayuda House in Cheshire
North East – The Bondgate Boutique in Northumberland
LateRooms Simply the Guest (presented by Hugo Kimber)
Highlands of Highworth in Swindon, Wiltshire
Glendevon Central B&B in Edinburgh, Scotland
The Old Vicarage in Truro, Cornwall
The Kings Arms in Ealing, London
Expedia Awards (presented by Sarah Barton)
The Old Piggery in Haynes, Bedford
Blossom House in Tideswell, Derbyshire
Wall Hill Farm House in Northwich, Cheshire
Ixworth House in Ixworth, Bury St Edmunds
AA Friendliest Award (presented by Peter Sturdey)
Danehurst House in Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Park Lodge in Whitley Bay, Northumberland
Nominated: Llwyn Helyg Country House in Carmarthenshire, Wales
AA Funkiest Place to Stay:
Snooze in Brighton, East Sussex
And of course our CEO, Michele Fitzpatrick, who began the evening by showcasing our new product features, also explained how the independent market was thriving at the moment and explained that it was all down to how special and wonderfully unique the properties and the people who run them are.
It was an absolutely amazing evening of storytelling and celebrating the unique and incredibly special people that are behind why this industry is so fantastic. Congratulations to all the winners and we hope to see you next year!