Hotel in line for national award

A SUFFOLK pub has made it to the national finals of a prestigious VisitBritain contest. The Bildeston Crown, a pub, restaurant and hotel business based near Stowmarket, is one of the three finalists in the Hotel of the Year category of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, which are aimed at showcasing excellent value for money domestic breaks.

A SUFFOLK pub has made it to the national finals of a prestigious VisitBritain contest.

The Bildeston Crown, a pub, restaurant and hotel business based near Stowmarket, is one of the three finalists in the Hotel of the Year category of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, which are aimed at showcasing excellent value for money domestic breaks.

Also shortlisted in the awards is Colchester Visitor Information Centre, which is vying with two other tourist information services for top spot in their category.

They join two other East Anglian businesses, Ian Russell, owner of Wroxham Barns in Norfolk, and Norfolk B&B Byford of Holt.


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The Bildeston Crown, a Grade II* listed former coaching inn which was restored in 2003 to create a hotel with 12 unique en-suite double rooms, has been developing a menu to cater for every taste under chef Chris Lee.

Colchester Visitor Information Centre has been selected as one of three finalists in the Tourist Information Service category, along with Chesterfield and Windsor

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All the finalists had to demonstrate excellence against strict criteria such as service and customer care, and were selected from over 100 regional winners submitted by England's nine regional tourism partners by a judging panel which included Nick Cust, a member of the VisitEngland board, and travel journalist Alison Rice.

Brian Richardson, Executive Secretary of The Caravan Club, who was also on the judging panel, said: “Once again we were faced with a really tough challenge as standards continue to improve each year. What sets these awards apart is the fact that all the regional winners are assessed anonymously by independent inspectors according to strict criteria of excellence, and we feel that the results are a true reflection of the very best that England has to offer. As a major player in the domestic tourism economy, The Caravan Club has always been synonymous with quality and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to recognise and reward quality businesses.”

VisitEngland Chairman Hugh Taylor said: 'On our 20th anniversary, we are delighted that there is such a broad range of exciting, high quality holiday experiences on offer in England - particularly as holidaymakers are looking to take a break closer to home this year.

“Each year the judging proves more and more difficult, which is a positive reflection on the rising quality of the tourism offering in England. The finalists have been chosen for leading the way in terms of innovation through continued investment whilst also maintaining consistently high quality and standards in their field.”

East of England Tourism chairman, Derek Langslow, said 'These awards recognise the truly excellent standards achieved in the tourism industry. All national finalists are subjected to rigorous examination and we are delighted to have four this year. We wish them every success.'

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at the National Railway Museum in York on Thursday 23 April, in celebration of St George's Day.

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