Businesses strike gold in tourism awards

November 28 2018
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TWO businesses in the Wells area have struck gold in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards.

Pickwicks cafe in Broad Street, Wells, and The Cross at Croscombe both won the top award in their category, Age Friendly Tourism Business of the Year and Bed & Breakfast and Guesthouse of the Year respectively.

Wells Cathedral won Silver in the Access and Inclusivity category, while Wookey Hole Caves’ Wild Wookey Adventure Caving received Bronze in the Tourism New Business Award. The Full Stop Cafe at Bookbarn International at Hallatrow won Silver in the Cafe/Tearoom of the Year category.

“We were entered by a customer – it’s a mystery who it was,” said Alan Hicks, who has run Pickwicks with his wife Jayne since 2012. He said the Age Friendly award was a testament to the cafe’s staff, who are encouraged to develop a relationship with customers.

“If you say ‘Is it a cup of tea and a teacake today?’ people like that,” he said.

“Our oldest customer had a birthday party here two weeks ago – he was 102.”

Alan added that Pickwicks holds a Talking Cafe every Thursday at 10.30am that is open to anyone who would like to go along to engage in conversation and make friends.

The awards ceremony took place at the Apex Hotel in Bath and was hosted by Laura Rawlings from BBC Radio Bristol and former Bath and England rugby player Phil de Glanville.

Terri Chichester, owner of The Cross at Croscombe, said: “There are many fantastic, independent B&Bs and guesthouses in Bath, Bristol and Somerset, so to be named the best is a huge honour.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the past four years. It has been hard work but great fun. I am delighted to play my small part in attracting visitors to this beautiful part of the country.”

A spokesperson for Wells Cathedral said: “For the second year running we are absolutely delighted to have won an award.

“Wells Cathedral works hard to try and ensure that everyone is able to visit, and that when they do, they feel welcome and enjoy coming to this wonderful place of worship that is also one of the West’s top tourist attractions.”

Picture: Alan Hicks behind the counter at Pickwicks