Sunday 28 April 2019 saw the second Thames Valley Hospitality Awards take place at Wokefield Park near Reading. Team Miller was shortlisted for two categories at this year’s awards: Best Independent Hotel and Apprentice of the Year.
The champagne reception was buzzing with anticipation from the very best of Thames Valley businesses. The awards have attracted all areas of the industry from across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. There were all sizes of business represented too, from global brand hotels to garden centre cafes and all sorts of eateries and accommodation providers in between. We were there in great company.
As we entered the hall for the dinner and awards ceremony the scene was set for a glossy and entertaining evening hosted by well known Reading face, Ady Williams. We enjoyed a 3-course dinner perfectly complemented by wines selected and gifted by Matthew Clark, and merriment oozed throughout the room. Soon the two part awards ceremony was to begin. To eek out our excitement and nerves, the two award categories we were shortlisted for were in either side of the ceremony.
Apprentice of the Year
Up first was our apprentice Courtney. Joining us just 7 months ago, Courtney has made a truly positive impression and immersed herself in Team Miller without hesitation. So much so it was a no-brainer for us to put her forward for the Apprentice of the Year award.
To paraphrase the judges: “it was a simple choice and the winner is… Courtney Harris of The Miller of Mansfield!”
She won! A richly deserved accolade that we hope will spur on Courtney to continue her move into hospitality and the possibilities of a long term career in the sector.
Independent Hotel of the Year
We were runners up in this category last, taking the silver award behind The Great House, Sonning with Bronze Trunkwell House completing the top three. So nerves were particularly wracked for our chances this year. Drum roll… Up flashes the shortlist on the big screen – we’re there. Bronze award is announced with a swoop of compliments – it’s not us. Silver follows suit – it’s not us. Then the Independent Hotel of the Year winner is introduced and the judges’ description that captures the room’s imagination is “flawless”. You could hear a pin drop… “The winner is… The Miller of Mansfield!”
After securing two wins at the inaugural event in 2018 including Restaurant of the Year and Back of House Star, we’re quite simply over the moon to bring home two gongs again this year. Well done Team Miller – we couldn’t have done it without you. And as always, a huge thank you to our patrons, regular and new, for supporting us, for generously and objectively providing feedback – helping us improve day after day.