STAFF at two popular Vale venues have scooped top prizes at this year’s Visit England awards.
Eckington Manor picked up the Tastes of England Award which recognises a business that produces or prepares quality food or drinks with a strong emphasis on local sourcing.
And the Fleece Inn in Bretforton took home the Tourism Pub of the Year Award, beating four other pubs from across the UK to the title.
The Fleece won the top award for providing an outstanding experience by offering a range of drinks and for serving quality, locally produced food.
Both venues collected the top gongs at a glitzy awards ceremony in Blackpool last week.
In its 27th year, the annual ceremony aims to celebrate the best of the UK’s tourism industry.
Judy Gardner, owner of Eckington Manor, said: “It’s such an honour to win this prestigious award, and it reflects all the hard work of the wonderful team we have here.
“At the end of last year our head chef Mark Stinchcombe won Masterchef: The Professionals.
“To win the Taste of England Gold Award at the Excellence in Tourism in England Awards ceremony only a few months later is a great thrill.
Landlord of the Fleece Inn, Nigel Smith, said: “We work really hard to give visitors to the pub a welcoming, historic and all round enjoyable experience.
“The Fleece has a wonderful and rich history, and a stunning location in beautiful rural Worcestershire – I owe it to the pub and all the landlords that have gone before me to keep this quintessentially English atmosphere and offering going strong.
“Thanks must go to the entire team at The Fleece. They do an amazing job every day and this and our other two recent awards are testament to this.”