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Unique Norfolk B&B wins national award

Mike and Alison Thomas who run The Old Bakery B&B and quilting retreat. Photo: Mike Thomas

Mike and Alison Thomas who run The Old Bakery B&B and quilting retreat. Photo: Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas

A Norfolk B&B has beaten its competitors to be named winner of the 'bed, breakfast and beyond' category in the 2019 Eviivo awards.

The Old Bakery has been shortlisted in the eviivo awards 2019. Photo: Mike ThomasThe Old Bakery has been shortlisted in the eviivo awards 2019. Photo: Mike Thomas

The Old Bakery in Hindolveston, run by husband and wife team Mike and Alison Thomas, stood out from the other nine shortlisted businesses in the category representing B&Bs with a unique feature.

The Eviivo awards, which celebrate the best independent guest houses in the country, found The Old Bakery best met its brief of a B&B offering an experience "beyond the ordinary guest house stay" and praised its owners for creating a cosy and relaxing atmosphere, providing stellar accommodation and offering quirky quilt making facilities.

Mrs Thomas, 57, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as the winner of the category and it came as a complete surprise as we were up again nine other really strong and varied businesses.

READ MORE: Norfolk B&B named among best in country

The Old Bakery has been shortlisted in the eviivo awards 2019. Photo: Mike ThomasThe Old Bakery has been shortlisted in the eviivo awards 2019. Photo: Mike Thomas

"I think the reason we were chosen is because we offer something that isn't readily available, a real retreat for people who love sewing and we take care of everything else such as meals and washing up so our guests can enjoy the respite of that.

"It's a precious break away from everyday worries and we have guests sewing at breakfast right through to late at night."

Eviivo judges said: "This property runs retreats of a particular kind for its guests, which have risen in popularity because they allow guests to unwind whilst being creative and social.

"These retreats often provide some welcome respite to those who otherwise struggle to find time for themselves, through illness or being caregivers.

"We especially liked the thoughtfulness of the hosts, the unique concept of the retreat and the homely interiors of the property itself."

Mr and Mrs Thomas enjoyed "a night to remember" at the James Bond-themed awards ceremony, which took place in London on October 15.

Before the win Mr Thomas said: "It's really meaningful to us to have been shortlisted as quilting is our passion and we've built the business up against some much bigger hotel-based retreats without advertising just through our reputation and word of mouth."

READ MORE: 'It's a massive thing for us' - Norwich restaurant awarded two AA rosettes

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