A night of tourism triumphs
Melton Mowbray Victorian Fair has been named the tourism experience of the year at an awards ceremony.
The annual event picked up the prize at the Leicester and Leicestershire Excellence in Tourism Awards, held at Leicester Tigers' Welford Road stadium last night.
Judges said the fair "gave clear evidence of very strong local links into their community and demonstrated very good use of social media".
The festive event takes place this weekend and includes the town's Christmas lights switch-on, nativities, markets, processions and entertainment.
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It was one of 11 award winners honoured last night.
Other businesses which triumphed included Curve, for large visitor attraction; the Red Lion wine pub, in Sibbertoft, Market Harborough, for tourism pub; and Leicester Tigers, for the business tourism award.
Martin Peters, chief executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, which organised the event, said: "Our congratulations go out to all of this year's winners.
"All of the categories were strongly contested and this shows the range and quality of tourism businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire.
"The value of tourism in the city and county grew again last year and, through their continued commitment to excellence, these winners are making a significant contribution to the success of the local tourism sector."
Leicester hotel and restaurant Maiyango, in Saint Nicholas Place, in the city centre, scooped two awards – taste of England and small hotel of the year.
The 14-bedroom boutique hotel beat Donington Manor Hotel and The City Rooms to claim its trophies.
Linda and Tim Lee, owners of Horseshoe Cottage Farm, in Cropston, had reason to celebrate again after picking up the bed and breakfast and guest accommodation of the year award for the second year running.
Dharmesh Lakhani, of Belgrave Business Association, presented the couple with the award.
He said: "The judges felt that the winning entry demonstrated an ongoing and sustained commitment to excellence that cuts across every aspect of the business.
"An exemplary approach to all aspects of service, sustainability, training, development and ongoing improvement."
Also prevailing for the second year in a row was the Dandelion Hideaway – named self-catering holiday provider of the year.
Proprietors Sharon and John Earp collected their award from Bhikhu Hindocha, from Leicester Shire Promotions.
Judges chose the bed and breakfast in Osbaston, near Market Bosworth, for "a clear and ambitious vision, and some exciting innovations in marketing and promotion".
The other winners were the Hinckley Island Hotel, for the access for all award; the Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport hotel, for large hotel of the year and Charnwood Museum, for small visitor attraction.