Muddy Awards Drinks
One of the best bits of the Muddy Awards is meeting all the winners at the Winners’ Drinks Party, and that’s not just because of the freely flowing proscecco and trays of canapes. It really feels a privilege to be in the company of so many talented people and to be able to share in the celebration of their well-deserved success (and yes, dammit, knock back prosecco and nibbles). This year, we were lucky enough to be the guests of Bath’s luxe and ultra stylish No 15 Great Pulteney, a 5-star boutique hotel on the grandest street in the city. From the outside, it’s your classic elegant Bath townhouse…
But step inside and every room is a surprise, with decor that’s witty, gorgeous and unique. I mean, this is the lobby, with a super-sized chandelier made up of hundreds upon hundreds of single earrings and drop crystals.
Each room, the corridors – even the ladies’ loos are filled with curious objets and clever touches. Love the coloured glass scent bottles on shelves either side of the gold Baroque mirrors, opulent wallpaper and five-foot crystal chandelier in the ladies’ powder room (I think we should call it that, don’t you?).
The party was in The Dispensary, the hotel’s cafe, a room lined with back-lit vintage, coloured glass chemists’ bottles, copper utensils and with some quirkily eccentric lights.
This year, the Somerset Muddy Awards winners truly reflected the county’s great diversity. Some were out in the sticks – Best Farm Shop The Trading Post Farm Shop and Best Cafe Pip’s Railway Carriage Cafe sit side-by-side on the edge of (not even in) the hamlet of Lopenhead. Best Bar The Hideout, Best Beauty Salon LittleLAB and Best Hair Salon Zara Perry Hairdressing are all in the centre of Bath. Some are well-established, like Best Boutique Stay The Pig near Bath and Best Theatre/Arts Venue Cheese & Grain in Frome, whilst others, like the best Destination Pub The Litton, near Wells, Best Wine Merchant Novel Wines and Best Women’s Store Settlers Stores are the new kids on the block.
Two of our Frome winners: Rowena Whitty of Best Gift Shop SEED and Ellie Swinhoe of Eleanor Christine Jewellery, who won Best Jeweller for the second time.
In this gaggle, we have, left to right: Mary Stringer from Best Day Spa Thermae Bath Spa; Rowen Campbell from Best Local Food & Drink Producer Godminster in Bruton, Gemma Manion from Zara Perry Hairdressing in Bath, Annie Michie, Commercial Manager from Somerset Muddy Stilettos and Rosie Hart from Best Art Gallery Black Swan Arts in Frome.
Winner of Best Fitness Instructor Natasha Howells from NV Health & Fitness in Langport has reached the finals every year.
Gary and colleague from Pip’s Railway Carriage Cafe with Tracey Rawlins and Graeme Barry from the Cheese & Grain in Frome.
Katie Louise (middle) and her mum (left) from Katie Louise Yoga in Taunton with Sinead Foley (right) from SEED.
Lottie May from Best Bookshop, Bath’s Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.
Left to right: Safia Shah and Ian Thomas from Best Children’s Business Bootmakers Workshop in Wincanton; Lucy Howse from Best Destination Pub The Litton; and Sarah Board and Natasha Howells from NV Heath & Fitness.
Kate and Andy Forbes from The Trading Post Farm Shop with Anna and Steff from The Pig near Bath.
THE MUDDY WINNERS IN FULL
BEST ART GALLERY: Black Swan Arts, Frome
BEST BAR: The Hideout, Bath
BEST BEAUTY SALON: LittleLAB, Bath
BEST BOOKSHOP : Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath
BEST BOUTIQUE STAY : The Pig, near Bath
BEST CAFÉ: Pip’s Railway Carriage Café, Lopenhead
BEST CHILDREN’S BUSINESS: Bootmakers Workshop, Wincanton
BEST DAY SPA: Thermae Bath Spa, Bath
BEST DESTINATION PUB : The Litton, near Wells
BEST FARM SHOP/DELI: Trading Post Farm Shop, Lopenhead
BEST FAMILY ATTRACTION: The Frome Independent, Frome
BEST FITNESS INSTRUCTOR: Natasha Howells, NV Health & Fitness, Langport
BEST FLORIST : Cottage Flowers, Ilminster
BEST GIFT SHOP: SEED, Frome
BEST HAIR SALON: Zara Perry Hairdressing, Bath
BEST INTERIORS STORE: Phillips & Skinner, Bruton
BEST JEWELLER: Eleanor Christine Jewellery, Frome
BEST LOCAL FOOD/DRINK PRODUCER: Godminster, Bruton
BEST PHOTOGRAPHER: Simon Billing Photography, Bridgwater
BEST RESTAURANT: Roth Bar and Grill, Bruton
BEST THEATRE/ARTS VENUE: Cheese & Grain, Frome
BEST WINE MERCHANT: Novel Wines, Bath
BEST WOMEN’S STORE: Settlers Stores, Frome
BEST YOGA/PILATES STUDIO: Katie Louise Yoga, Taunton
Huge thanks once again to everyone who voted in the Awards, to all the businesses that took part and also to the spectacular No 15 Great Pulteney for hosting our Winner’s Drinks Party. It’s been a blast! Same time next year?