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Nottinghamshire’s Tourism Winners Named for 2012

From a heritage attraction celebrating the life of D.H. Lawrence, to the caretaker at the Galleries of Justice Museum and a beautiful bed and breakfast in Holbeck, Nottinghamshire’s tourism legends were celebrated at the STARS Awards event in Nottingham last night.

The STARS Awards, celebrating the best of Nottinghamshire’s tourism, hospitality, leisure and culture sectors, were presented at a glittering awards ceremony at the Crowne Plaza last night.
Over 230 people attended the event, recognising the achievements of the 30 shortlisted teams, businesses and individuals from across the county.

Joan Brown, of Brown’s Bed and Breakfast in Holbeck, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution award, for her longstanding work in promoting tourism in her area of the county. From beginning her business in 1990 with her husband Robin, Joan has built one of the most successful and highly awarded accommodation businesses in Nottinghamshire. Brown’s B&B was also named the Best Accommodation Provider for 2012.

Jennifer Spencer, on presenting the Outstanding Contribution award, noted: “As well as passionately offering a quality visitor experience to her guests, she is also an avid supporter of tourism in Nottinghamshire as a whole, ensuring her local area of Welbeck and The Dukeries is always firmly on the tourism map.”

Joan Brown said: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed and I shan’t sleep a wink tonight! It’s so nice to be recognised for continued quality and for all the hard work over the last 23 years.”

Outstanding Young Manager award recipient Marion Pascaline Milon, Head Housekeeper at the Park Plaza in Nottingham, was also thrilled to be recognised by her team and the industry: “It’s all thanks to the team behind me. I’m just trying to do the best jobs for guest and staff. Trying to make sure everyone is happy, and making a difference, is very rewarding.”

STARS Awards 2012 Winners – See Editor’s Note below for details on each winner, and a quote:

• Excellence in customer service: Compton House Bed and Breakfast team
• Outstanding young manager: Marion Pascaline Milon 
• Best new venture: Café 100
• Most promising apprentice or student: Abbie Smart                                   
• Best practice in training: HIT Training
• Team of the year: Café Art team
• Best accommodation provider: Browns of Holbeck, Bed and Breakfast                               
• Best conference venue: Nottingham Conference Centre
• Best visitor attraction: D.H. Lawrence Heritage
• Unsung hero: Chris Sole                                           
• Outstanding Contribution to the Industry: Joan Brown

The winners of Best Visitor Attraction (D.H. Lawrence Heritage), Best Conference Venue (Nottingham Conference Centre) and Best Accommodation Provider (Brown’s B&B) will now all progress to the national tourism awards, the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The awards were supported by ITV Central, Nottingham Hoteliers Association, Quadrant Creative Event Production, Crowne Plaza Nottingham, Michael Wisher Associates, All About Tourism, Homemade Cafe, The Cumin restaurant, Alea Casino, New College Nottingham, Nottingham Food & Drink Festival, Hickling & Squires, Charnwood Training and Experience Nottinghamshire.

This guests on the night raised more than £1,100 for local charity, Help a Nottinghamshire Child, an educational charity run by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law at Galleries of Justice, educating children on how to be good citizens and to help prevent crime.

PLEASE NOTE: WINNERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW. CONTACT: Melissa Gueneau, Experience Nottinghamshire: melissa.gueneau@experiencenottinghamshire.com / 0115 962 8300


Erin Huckle, PR Manager
Experience Nottinghamshire www.experiencenottinghamshire.com
erin.huckle@experiencenottinghamshire.com / Tel: 0115 962 8300 / 07411 355 293


Excellence in customer service

The Compton House Bed and Breakfast team; Lisa, Mark, Rachael and Tracey, go out of their way to ensure every guest has an excellent stay in Newark. They work together to continually improve their standards and create a very welcoming atmosphere. Last year Lisa won the AA’s Friendliest Landlady award and one customer said the B&B made them “proud to be British with real warmth, good food and comfort.”

Quote from Lisa Holloway: “We’re absolutely thrilled. The investment in time and effort nas paid off, and we’re all really proud to have won this award.”

Outstanding young manager

Marion Pascaline Milon is the Head Housekeeper at Park Plaza Nottingham, managing a team of 35 people, the largest department within the hotel. She encourages her team to work together to consistently achieve high standards and has recently become a hotel ‘Inspirator’, someone who embodies guest care, going the extra mile for both customers and her team.

Quote from Marion Pascaline Milon: “It’s all thanks to the team behind me. I’m just trying to do the best jobs for guest and staff. Trying to make sure everyone is happy, and making a difference, is very rewarding.”

Best new venture

Café 100 in Long Eaton is a community café and training academy providing opportunities for disadvantaged people to gain new skills and confidence. It provides training and support in hospitality and catering, helping people move towards financial independence. In addition it is also a successful café, serving good food to local people. One customer said it all by commenting “Thanks for the best café in Long Eaton”.

Quote from Catherine Harvey, Director of Genesis Enterprise Training: “Awesome, wonderful. We’ve only just started and it is such a privilege working with disadvantaged young people to find opportunities, and the award tonight is for them. It gives them the chance to move towards future employment.”

Most promising apprentice or student

Abbie Smart is a waitress and bar person at The Carnarvon in Teversal and is also on track to achieve a level 2 hospitality services apprenticeship with New College Nottingham. She is always welcoming, friendly and organised, willing to cover shifts at a moment’s notice and noticeably loves her job. Her customer service skills are exemplary, and she plans to achieve a customer service qualification in the near future.

Quote from Abbie Smart: “I’d like to say to other young people, if you don’t know what to do, just keep looking, you never know what is around the corner. I found my job by accident and I love it! So a big thank you.”

Best practice in training 

HIT Training Nottingham are a team of 12, delivering hospitality, management and professional cookery qualifications across the county. They work alongside a large number of local businesses and charities offering courses and work placements to people of all ages including those with learning difficulties. They support Springboard UK as mentors and judges for Future Chef, and recently won the national HIT Training Award for best performing team in the company.

Quote from the team at HIT Training: “We’re quite a new team and we’ve all pulled together really well to give people training within the industry. It’s fantastic to receive this award!”

Team of the year     

Café Art is a coffee shop and restaurant set in a mental health hospital and gives opportunities for those within the hospital to gain new skills, confidence and independence. All members of the team have recently achieved NVQ qualifications and have been recognised by customers as always going beyond their roles. They even gave up their time to knit and sell Crème egg coats raising money for a cancer charity!

Quote from the team at Café Art: “We’re really, really, really happy. Thank you to all of our staff who work as a very good team to keep the cafe a very happy place.”

Best accommodation provider

Browns of Holbeck has been running for 22 years and currently has six quality awards and commendations including a five star gold award with Visit England and a listing in The Michelin Guide. They never rest in improving their standards and are always looking for new ways to offer an even better service to customers. One customer summed this up simply by saying it was ‘a delightful experience’.

Quote from Joan Brown: “It’s so nice to be recognised for continued quality and for all the hard work over the last 23 years.”

Best conference venue

Nottingham Conference Centre is a dedicated venue providing conference, training, meeting and exhibition facilities within a converted Grade II listed building. Clients have included The Prince’s Trust, PepsiCo and Capital One. They have developed their own bespoke training matrix for staff and all are encouraged to take part in team projects to give them individual responsibility for the success of the business.

Quote from Emma Hinde, Team Leader at Nottingham Conference Centre: “It’s a privilege to be recognised as a city centre venue, which is part of Nottingham Trent University. The team is overjoyed, and this award is a testimony to the hard work everyone has put in over the past two years.”

Best visitor attraction

D.H. Lawrence Heritage is a twin visitor attraction including a museum and heritage centre in Eastwood. The team are dedicated to customer excellence adapting tours to visitor’s needs and interests, working with local schools to arrange bespoke educational visits and developing new experiences for those with special needs. In the last 5 years they have won 9 regional industry awards and been involved with a number of national tourism campaigns.

Quote from Carolyn Melbourne at D.H. Lawrence Heritage: “We are all thrilled to bits, and it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

Unsung hero

Chris Sole is the Maintenance Caretaker at the Galleries of Justice Museum. His role contributes to the success of every part of the organisation and is the first person the team turn to for help. Keeping the building safe and well maintained, he also installs exhibitions, sets up events and gives up his free time to support staff and volunteers. A colleague said “Chris is not only one of the most popular members of the team, but a fundamental part of the organisation as a whole.”

Quote from Chris Sole: “I’m speechless! This for the team at the Galleries of Justice Museum.”

Outstanding Contribution

Joan Brown began her business in a converted cow shed in 1990. With the support of her husband she has built up one of the most successful and highly awarded Bed and Breakfast businesses in Nottinghamshire. As well as passionately offering a quality visitor experience to her guests, Joan is also an avid supporter of tourism in Nottinghamshire as a whole, ensuring her local area of Welbeck and The Dukeries is always firmly on the tourism map.

Joan continually promotes attractions such as The Harley Gallery, The Welbeck Estate, Cresswell Crags and The School of Artisan Food, even inviting the School Tutors to breakfast to meet visiting tutors and students. Despite the continually increasing demands of visitors and quality assessors she has always kept her 5 star gold award status, as well as gaining a National Accessible Scheme mobility award and two breakfast awards, sourcing her food from the local Welbeck Farm shop.

Quote from Joan Brown: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed and I shan’t sleep a wink tonight!”

Posted on 22 June 2012

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