11 Nov Brecon Beacons Tourism Awards – Pontganol wins best small self catering category
I’m still pinching myself as I write this – last night was the inaugural Brecon Beacons Tourism Awards, and if you had seen in an earlier blog post, the cottage was nominated in the ‘best small self-catering category’ against some incredible opponents – Beacons Park Day Boats, Road House Narrowboats and Basel Cottage Holidays.
Amazingly, fabulously, and totally wonderfully, Pontganol Cottage won the award! The day also coincided with the anniversary of my first guests to ever stay at the cottage, on the 10th Nov 2014 – how’s that for timing?
The awards ceremony and dinner was held at the Manor in Crickhowell, with a speech from Tori James, Visit Wales’ Year of Adventure ambassador, and hosted by Mari Stevens, Director of Tourism and Business Marketing for the Welsh Government. Over 200 people attended, and I took the lovely Anna Chambers, (founder of Chambers Maids, who do all the cottage cleaning) Heather, one of Anna’s amazing ladies, and Alex, my fabulous fiance, who also set up the cottage website and does everything technical – measuring, internet etc! A very big congratulations to everyone who was nominated and who won on the night, it’s great to see businesses coming together for the good of the local area.
I can’t really put into words what the award means to me. Since I inherited Pontganol from my Mum back in 2001, I’ve thought she would make a brilliant holiday cottage, but it’s taken until 2014 to make it work. And of course, I didn’t do it by myself, there’s a whole team who visitors won’t normally see who make her what she is. I need to thank a whole lot of people!
So, in no particular order, my thanks, gratitude and love go to:
Alex, who put up with my hatred of sanding and brought a fearsome level of attention to detail, but also indulged me in my love of buying and choosing interiors with the patience of a saint.
Anna Chambers and the brilliant Chambers Maids, who leave the cottage looking beautiful every single week, and who I knew would be the safest, kindest pair of hands to look after her between each booking.
Nia Chamberlain and the rest of the Chamberlain family at number 19 for always helping out with any guest questions, DIY issues, leaking taps and the washing and ironing every single week whilst running her own fabulous holiday cottages as well!
My Mum, Gerry and Dad, Mike who sadly aren’t here to read this. I hope I’ve made you both proud. I stand in the cottage and feel the love that I was given and I hope she reflects some of that back to the guests who stay there.
My friends and work colleagues, who put up with me wanging on about having a holiday cottage, then listening to my renovation woes, decorating scheme ideas, eBay treasures and tiny steps forward without ever complaining or telling me to shut up.
My future in-laws, Shelley and Alastair who happily ferry huge quantities of prosecco across from Italy twice a year to go in the cottage welcome pack!
My guests, everyone and their dog who has ever stayed in the cottage. I am so pleased that you chose her for your break and I truly hope you loved her and what she represents.