The winners of the 2019 Lincolnshire Tourism Excellence Awards were announced in Lincoln at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln on Tuesday 12th March.
Melvyn Prior of BBC Radio Lincolnshire hosted the evening and Andrew Stokes, England Director for VisitBritain, provided the keynote speech, encouraging Lincolnshire’s visitor economy on a national stage.
More than two hundred guests gathered to celebrate and share best practice at the ‘Oscars’ of the county’s tourism industry.
The awards, organised by Lincolnshire Media in association with Visit Lincoln, celebrate the finest of local businesses in the hospitality and retail sector, recognising their efforts in making Lincolnshire a great place to visit.
The 2019 Tourism Excellence Awards attracted a record number of remarkable applications. The winners were chosen by a mix of judges decisions and public votes online.
Lydia Rusling Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln said: “It’s great to see so many businesses across different sectors, including retail and food and drink, recognised, celebrated and rewarded.
“There were more award applications for the second Tourism Excellence Awards, and the quality of all of them were outstanding, which made the judging exceptionally difficult.
“It shows how significant the industry is across Lincolnshire’s Countryside, Coast and City.”
The winners are:
TASTE OF LINCOLNSHIRE AWARD 2019
Sponsored by Wilkin Chapman
Lincoln Tea & Coffee
This is the company behind Lincolnshire Tea, a special blend suitable for hard water areas. The firm was created in 2013 and supplies fine leaf tea, freshly roasted coffee, and equipment & training.
Nominated: Browns Pie Shop; Coffee Bobbins.
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2019
Sponsored by South West Lincs Food Services
Doddington Hall & Gardens Restaurant
Modern British, home-reared Lincoln Red beef, Estate game and veg from the kitchen garden are what diners can look forward to at this restaurant. Customers can choose from a wide variety of drinks to complement the food.
Nominated: Browns Pie Shop; Washingborough Hall Hotel.
CAFE OF THE YEAR 2019
Sponsored by Black & White Coffee House
Stokes Tea & Coffee - The Lawn, Lincoln
This famous local company has given The Lawn complex a bright new future with a new cafe, Barista School, events space and restaurant, plus a host of small shops and businesses. One of the quirky features is Lulu the whale suspended from the cafe ceiling. The model is made from 100% recycled plastic and services to remind us all of the importance of looking after our seas and planet.
Nominated: Seascape; The Old School Canteen.
BAR/PUB OF THE YEAR 2019
Sponsored by Small Beer
Strait & Narrow
This comfy continental beer, wine, and cocktail bar, which serves more than 100 beers, a similarly large cocktail menu, and ‘high end’ wine menu, opened in The Strait in 2012. Staff pride themselves on their product knowledge and customers can taste before they buy. Constant product research and staff training ensures the customer experience is as good as it can possibly be.
Nominated: The George; The Scene.
RETAILER OF THE YEAR 2019
Sponsored by the White Hart Hotel
Lincoln’s only specialist beer shop, in uphill Lincoln, sells beers from around the world as well as supporting niche and local brewers. Owned by the Lincolnshire Brewing Company, the premises opened its first beer lounge last summer.
Nominated: The Entertainer; Giant Lincoln.
VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR 2019
Sponsored by Petwood Hotel
The jewel in Lincoln’s crown has stood proud on top of the hill for more than 900 years. The cathedral welcomes more than 100,000 visitors from across the world and the UK, and £16m worth of improvements are planned, including a new cafe and visitor centre.
Nominated: International Bomber Centre; Rand Farm Park; Springfields.
HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2019
Healing Manor Hotel
Billed as the perfect backdrop for any special occasion, this 37-room hotel near Grimsby is set in 36 acres of woodland and landscapes gardens. There’s even a moated island. The on-site pub is the Pig and Whistle which serves dishes made from locally sources and seasonal ingredients and offers a choice of more than 90 gins, whiskies, spirits, and rums, plus a wide selection of beers.
Nominated: DoubleTree by Hilton; Lincoln Hotel.
SELF-CATERING PROPERTY OF THE YEAR 2019
Grange Park Farm
From a one-room B&B 35 years ago, Grange Farm Park now offers 18 self-catering lodges, caravans, and cottages as well as six luxury B&B rooms and 60-seater Stables Bar & Restaurant. There’s a children’s play area, go-carts and bikes, two football nets, and two well-stocked fishing lakes that are free to fish.
Nominated: Brackenborough Hall Coach House; Doddington Hall & Gardens.
HOLIDAY PARK/VILLAGE OF THE YEAR 2019
Sponsored by Duncan & Toplis
For thousands of visitors, Fantasy Island is the Lincolnshire Coast. There are more than 30 fairground rides including rollercoasters, Europe’s largest seven-day market, a family entertainment centre, and many restaurants, cafes, and bars. The Mellors Group has invested £9m since 2016 and new attractions include an 18-hole adventure golf course, a 10-pin bowling alley and an indoor tree top climbing course.
Nominated: Grange Park Farm.
FAMILY TOURISM AWARD 2019
Sponsored by Lincoln Loves Kids
Normanby Hall Country Park
This is a stunning Regency mansion set in 300 acres of grounds in North Lincolnshire. There is the hall plus a farming museum where people can learn traditional crafts, gift shop and cafe and woodland walks. Highlights of the events calendar include outdoor cinema screenings.
Nominated: Lincoln Castle; Tattershall Farm Park.
TAKING LINCOLNSHIRE TO THE WORLD 2019
Sponsored by Meet Lincoln & Lincolnshire
International Bomber Command Centre
This visitor attraction tells the story of all those who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War. There is a memorial spire surrounded by steel walls etched with the names of all those who came to Britain from all over the world to fight for freedom but paid the ultimate price. Visitors can get an idea of what it was like to fly missions, real-life stories from the home fronts in the UK and Germany are also told.
Nominated: Lincoln City FC; Lincoln Minster School.
BED & BREAKFAST OF THE YEAR 2019
This is a ‘modern-rustic’ luxury B&B near Lincoln which comprises of four rooms. Quirky features include pitchfork curtain poles and saddle rack clothes hangars. Guests can enjoy the best Lincolnshire sausages and dry cured bacon, and pre-order commissioned paintings of guest pets.
Nominated: The Old Parsonage; The Old Posthouse.
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AWARD 2019
This prestigious award was selected by the judging panel, awarded to someone who in their judgement made a significant contribution to tourism in the region.
Nicky van der Drift (International Bomber Command Centre) & Dave Harrigan MBE (Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire)