Businesses from Falmouth have been named the top of the peers at this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards.
Falmouth Oyster Festival and the Pandora Inn at Restronguet both took gold in their respective categories at the awards, announced last Friday.
It is the latest gong for the Pandora Inn, which only reopened last March following a year’s closure due to devastating fire damage.
The pub, managed by Catherine and Lester Croft, took the title in the new category of “tourism pub”.
John Milan, who owns the pub with Steve Bellman, said: “We are over the moon to receive this award. This is a new category in the South West Tourism Awards so we’re delighted that the Pandora is the first holder of the award.
“We were competing against top pubs from across a huge area so it means a lot to us to win.”
Steve Bellman added: “This award is a tribute to the fantastic work of managers Lester and Catherine Croft and chef Tom Milby, and the entire Pandora team.”
Falmouth Oyster Festival also took gold, in the “tourism event of the year” category.
The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth won silver in the “large visitor attraction of the year” class, while Fal River Visitor Information Centre took bronze for “tourism information service of the year”.
Elsewhere in the county, Trethem Mill Touring Park on St Just in Roseland took gold in the “holiday park and village of the year category” and also the overall “winner of winners title.”
Atlantic House B&B at The Lizard won bronze in the highly competitive “bed and breakfast and guest house accommodation of the year” category, after taking silver at the Cornwall awards.
Jayne Hayes, who opened the business with her husband Philip in 2004, said: “We are over the moon. There are so many [bed and breakfasts] and when you think of the gold awards from all the other counties...
“We have just got a three-bedroom bed and breakfast at the end of The Lizard – it’s extraordinary.”
Gwel an Mor near Redruth took bronze in the same holiday park category, while its hospitality team won gold in the “outstanding customer service” award.
Geevor Tin Mine at Pendeen near Penzance was highly commended in the “small visitor attraction of the year” award and Boscrowan Farm at Heamoor near Penzance won bronze in “self catering establishment of the year.”
The awards ceremony took place at the Eden Project, hosted by BBC radio journalist Daphne Skinnard.
The winners were selected from more than 300 entries, finding the best of tourism across the South West – from as far west as the Isles of Scilly, as far east as Wiltshire and as far north as the Cotswolds.
Up to four winners from each category in this year’s awards will now go on to represent the region at the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence later in May.