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Pop the corks – it’s the Muddy Awards drinks!

You did it, they did it, we all did it! The Muddy Awards are over for 2022 - and what a year it's been! See what happened when our amazing local winners came together to celebrate at The Farmhouse at Redcoats. Raise a glass and let the celebrations commence!

We asked. You voted. And voted. And voted… The competition was incredible this year. Are you ready for this? A whopping 75,000 businesses entered and 865,000 votes were cast across the Muddy counties. That included nearly 3,000 Herts & Beds nominees and 28,000 votes in our local finals alone! Phew! So, to win a Muddy Award (and one that’s entirely based on the public vote at that!) is definitely something to shout from the rooftops.

Naturally, it was time to raise a glass (or several) to the BEST indie businesses in Herts and Beds 2022, as voted by YOU, at our annual Muddy Awards drinks.

Winners were welcomed in to the wedding barn
The farmhouse looking resplendent in the sunshine!

The sun gods were on our side for the big event last week, which took place at The Farmhouse at Redcoats, near Hitchin – a gorgeously rustic converted wedding barn and 4AA star boutique hotel surrounding by rolling English countryside.

All ready for the guests of honour to arrive!

We sipped bubbles and scoffed canapés on the sunshiney terrace, with fields as far as the eye could see, whilst chatting, giggling (it wouldn’t be Muddy without a bit of naughtiness now, would it?!) and mingling with our brilliant local winners – some familiar faces as well as some lovely new ones. And, as new friends were made, we heard murmerings of some new partnerships being hatched, too – ooh we do love a local biz collab!

Clockwise from top left: Jade from Wild Ivy (new lifestyle start-up), Catherine of Flowers by Catherine (Florist), the team from Debenhams Ottaway (sponsors), Kirsty from Bubear Photography (Photographer), Jackie from Morgan Davies Bridal (Bridal Store)
Damien and Sophie from The Bull at Gosmore (Destination Pub) and Harry and Rosie from Los Reyes (Restaurant) cheering on their fellow winners.
Sue and Rachel from Elephant & Feather getting a winners’ selfie!
Fun in the sun! Clockwise from top left: Team Debenhams Ottaway, Georgia from Shuttleworth House, Jackie and Jane from Morgan Davies and Pooja from Rubarb, Paula and Amanda from The Pilates Workshop.

Our brilliant sponsors (for the second year running), the St Albans based Debenhams Ottaway Solicitors, came along to celebrate with us and meet the winners. Hopefully they didn’t have to talk shop tooo much to all those local businesses nobbling them for legal advice!

The Debenhams Ottaway team

Muddy’s Commercial Manager, Jo and I (Katrina, Muddy Editor) presented the certificates on the lawn while the drinks and conversation flowed. The fab local photographer, Lorna Newman, snapped away throughout (yep, these are her awesome pics you’re looking at!) and everyone took home a scrummy Muddy cupcake, courtesy of the talented Maz of Mazzicle Cupcakes in Stevenage

Big thanks to Mazzicle Cupcakes for our tasty treats!

After a couple of months of awards craziness, it was such a treat to meet all of the wonderful winners who have put their hearts and souls into their home-grown local businesses over the past year and beyond. To see the pride on everyone’s faces as they clutched their hard-earned and such-well-deserved certificates, was a joy and a privilege. I’m coming over a bit emosh just thinking about it!

So do you wanna meet the best businesses in Herts & Beds? Course ya do! Here goes…

Clockwise from top left: Georgia from Shuttleworth House (Wedding Venue), Paula and Amanda from The Pilates Workshop St Albans (Yoga/Pilates Studio), Bethany and Dean from The Bedford Swan (Hotel/Inn), Jackie and Jane from Morgan Davies Bridal (Bridal Store), Rebecca and Brendan from The Kiln (Café), Karen and Jade from Wild Ivy (New Lifestyle Start-Up).
Clockwise from top left: Harry and Rosie from Los Reyes (Restaurant), Pooja from Rubarb (Women’s Store), Jade and Luke from Maison Beauté (Beauty Salon), Jude Karnon (Jewellery), Kirsty and Kayley from Bubear Photography (Photographer), Lisa Hillier (Fitness Instructor)
Clockwise from top left: Harry and Emily from Hitchin Lanvender (Family Attraction), Emma from Greys (Hairdresser), Catherine and Neil from Flowers by Catherine (Florist), Rachel and Sue from Elephant and Feather (Lifestyle Store), Lynsey from The Dottie Crafter (Art Space), Jo and Graham from Disco-licious (Farmshop/Deli).
Clockwise from top left: Steph and Chloe from David’s (Bookshop), Toby and Lauren from Bite Around the World (Food/Drink Producer), Damien and Sophie from the Bull at Gosmore (Destination Pub), Kirsty and Jake from Mama Baby Play (Children’s Business), Charlotte and Andrew from The Meadows at Polehanger (Boutique Stay), Duncan from The Wee Vinoteca (Bar).

This year the Hitchin contingent did themselves proud with a whopping ten awards! While a further ten winners represented Bedfordshire – the highest number winners from the county in the Herts & Beds awards to date!

Team Hitchin celebrating their wins!
Bedfordshire businesses took ten awards this year

Here’s the full list of winning businesses. Now you know who they are make sure you go and say hi!

A little last word from me… from the nominees, to the readers who loyally voted and supported, (not once but twice), to the amazing finalists who fended off the competition to reach the top five in each category, and, of course the incredible 2022 winners, you are all AMAZING! THANK YOU for making this year’s Muddy Awards the best yet.

And finally… here’s what happens to team Muddy Herts Beds at the end of Awards night!

CONGRATULATIONS you fabulous lot! Same again next year?!

That’s all, folks!

All photography by Lorna Newman.

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