A total of 26 local businesses were crowned winners at a glittering ceremony at Athena in Leicester on 29 November to celebrate the Leicestershire Tourism & Hospitality Awards 2018.

Winners included restaurants, hotels, visitor attractions, cafes, food producers, farm shops, tearooms, pubs, event venues, B&Bs, festivals and events, and Market Towns. The final award of the evening was Tourism Superstar and was presented to James Bowie, former owner of The Belmont Hotel in Leicester whose family ran the hotel for over 80 years.

Now in its 8th year, the awards are aimed at finding the best tourism businesses in Leicestershire and this year, around 100 businesses submitted over 190 applications for this year’s categories. The awards are hosted by Leicestershire Promotions and this year, corporate sponsors included Everards, NVG, Pear Communications, Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council.

The winners are below:

Proud of Our People

Best Team

Winner: The Link Hotel

Highly Commended : Field Sport UK

Commended: Century Theatre, Best Western Yew Lodge Hotel

Inspiring Manager

Winner: James Webster – The White Horse

Highly Commended: Esme Ditano – The White Peacock

Rising Star

Winner: Harry Sutton – John’s House

Highly Commended: Chris Hewitt – College Court, Mark Barker – Best Western Yew Lodge Hotel, Olivia Azzouzi – King Richard III Visitor Centre

Best Customer Service

Winner: Lakeside Bistro

Highly Commended: College Court, Barkers Interiors

Best Local Food & Drink Producer

Winner: Gelato Village

Highly Commended: The Bee Farmer, Cocoa Amore

Great Places to Eat and Drink

Outstanding Contribution to Gastronomy

Winner: John Duffin, John’s House

Best Formal Dining Experience

Winner: The White Peacock

Highly Commended: Taste Restaurant at Leicester College

Best Leicestershire Breakfast

Winner: Tithe Barn

Highly Commended: The Café Next Door

Best Casual Dining Experience

Winner: Boboli

Highly Commended: Lakeside Bistro, Winstanley House

Best Local Food Retailer

Winner: Waterloo Cottage Farm

Highly Commended: Farndon Fields Farm

Best Afternoon Tea

Winner: The Café Next Door

Highly Commended : Lakeside Bistro, Stonehurst Farm – The Farmer’s Den

Commended: Rose Cottage, Tylers Tearooms

Best Pub Experience

Winner: The Real Ale Classroom

Highly Commended: Griffin Inn

Best Cocktail Experience

Winner: The White Peacock

Highly Commended: The Fish & The Chip

Great Places to Stay

Most Enjoyable Stay – Hotel

Winner: College Court

Highly Commended: Best Western Ullesthorpe Court Hotel, The Belmont Hotel

Most Enjoyable Stay – Guesthouse

Winner: Holywell House

Most Enjoyable Stay – Self Catering

Winner: Brook Meadow

Highly Commended: Eye Kettleby Lakes, Foxton Locks Lodges, Mallory Meadows

Commended: Fair Farm Hideaway, Boutique Narrowboats


Winner: Bruntingthorpe Events

Highly Commended : Imago

Commended: National Space Centre

Fabulous Things to Do

Favourite Festival – Paid Entry

Winner: Timber Festival

Highly Commended: Bosworth Medieval Festival

Favourite Festival – Free Entry

Winner: Market Bosworth Festival Big Weekend

Highly Commended: Market Harborough Carnival, Snap Dragon Festival

Favourite Event – Free Entry

Winner: Loughborough Fair

Great Day Out – Activity

Winner: Archery Legends

Highly Commended: Field Sport UK

Great Day Out – Small Visitor Attraction

Winner: Stonehurst Farm

Highly Commended: Wistow Maze

Great Day Out – Large Visitor Attraction

Winner: National Space Centre

Highly Commended: Twycross Zoo

Best Town or Village

Winner: Market Harborough

Highly Commended: Ashby de la Zouch

Best Shopping Experience

Winner: Ashby de la Zouch

Highly Commended: Loughborough

Commended: Ferrers Gallery

Best Outdoor Experience

Winner: Greenwood Days

Highly Commended: Heather Scarecrow Festival

Best Night Out

Winner: Haunted Heritage

Highly Commended: Loughborough Town Hall

Tourism Superstar

Winner: James Bowie, The Belmont Hotel

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicestershire Promotions said: “This year’s awards have been an amazing success with more applicants than ever from a broad cross-section of the Leicestershire tourism industry. The judges really had their work cut out in the face of intense competition from such an amazing list of finalists. We offer our hearty congratulations to all of the deserved winners who represent Leicestershire so magnificently to all visitors to the city and county.”

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