On Tuesday, we suited 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: 

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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 even completed his poem Queen Mab there. And whilst there, he even survived an assassination attempt! Finally, we spoke to Margaret from the Queens Head in Tirril, near Ullswater who told us that 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, that 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 process.

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

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Outstanding Host  (presented by Hotel Owner Magazine editor, Michael Northcott hotel)

Winner: The Ellerby Country Inn in Whitby, North Yorkshire

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Budget with a Twist (presented by David Weston) 

Winner: Waves Guest House in Blackpool, Lancashire

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Most Beautifully Presented (Presented by TV personality Sophie Robinson)

Winner: Lisnacurran Country House B&B in Lisburn, Northern Ireland 

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Quirkiest Place to Stay (presented by Travel GBI magazine editor George Clode)

Winner: Snooze In Brighton in East Sussex

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Star Among Stars (presented by journalist Martin Dunford)

Winners: Llwyn Helyg Country House in Carmarthenshire, Wales

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Hidden Gems

Regional winners: 

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 

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Laterooms Simply the Guest (presented by Hugo Kimber)

Winners: 

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

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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

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AA Friendliest Award (presented by Peter Sturdey)

Winners: 

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

 

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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 the how special and wonderfully unique the properties and the people are who run them. 

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It was an absolutely amazing evening of story telling 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.