BUSINESSES across the Malvern area and beyond have been celebrating after being named in the Visit Worcestershire’s Tourism Awards for Excellence.

Among those gaining top titles were the Cotford Hotel in Graham Road, which won the award for best eating out, and the Hop Pickers Rural Retreats at Leigh, near Malvern, which won the accolade for top self-catering accommodation.

The awards ceremony at Malvern Theatres was hosted by John Challis, of BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses.

He said: “It’s been a great honour to help present the awards for Excellence. It has been a terrific afternoon here at the Malvern Theatres, and it was brilliant to see so many people there who have done so much to help tourism here in both the counties.”

Chris Morgan, owner of the Cotford with his wife Barbara, said: "This award means that for the second year running , we have been judged to be the finest eating-out venue in Worcestershire and now go forward again to represent Worcestershire in the England finals in 2018.

"The judges at the awards ceremony described their experience as 'having the total wow factor' from start to finish with amazing attention to detail. We are so proud to be in this position on our tenth anniversary of having arrived in Malvern. We also have just been awarded two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence for the eighth consecutive year."


Best touring, camping and holiday: Canvas and Clover of Holt Heath; highly commended: Rosebud Meadow, Welland, near Malvern, and Hopleys Family Camping of Bewdley.

Best conference venue: Stanbrook Abbey, Callow End; highly commended: Eckington Manor, near Pershore, and the Bank House, Bransford.

Best self catering: Hop Pickers Rural Retreats, Leigh, near Malvern; highly commended: the Durrance, Upton Warren; commended: Belford Cottage, Malvern.

Best guest accommodation: Eckington Manor; highly commended: The Dell House, Malvern Wells; commended: the Cardinal's Hat, Worcester.

Best hotel: Brockencote Hall Hotel, Chaddesley Corbett; Bank House, Bransford; the Malvern, Malvern.

Best visitor attraction: Severn Valley Railway; highly commended: Bodenham Arboretum; commended: the Malvern.

Best eating out: Cotford Hotel, Malvern; highly commended: Feli's Bar and Restaurant, Stoulton; commended: Eckington Manor.

Best food producer: Churchfields Farm Ice Cream, Salwarpe; highly commended: Croome Cuisine, Whittington; highly commended: Clive's Fruit Farm, Upton.

Best drink producer: Oldfields Cider, Tenbury Wells; highly commended: Pershore College; highly commended: Clive's Fruit Farm.

Best festival and events (commercial) – RHS Malvern Spring Festival: highly commended: Upton Blues Festival; commended: Worcester Beer Festival

Best festival and events (community) – Droitwich Spa Food and Drink Festival; highly commended: Worcester Music Festival; commended: Broadway Arts Festival.

Ross Calladine, head of business support at VisitEngland, said: “The awards are a fantastic showcase of the outstanding range and quality of tourism products and services and visitor experiences across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and I congratulate all of today’s finalists and award-winners.”