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Party on! The Muddy Awards Winner’s Drinks

They came to Exton Park vineyard from all corners of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight... Pop that cork and join your Muddy Awards 2021 winners!

We asked. You voted. And voted. And voted. After a year out, competition in the 2021 Muddy Awards was so intense it pretty much broke the Internet (and your local editors!).

So when the time came, your Hampshire team were so ready to raise a glass (or several) and kick back with your favourite local businesses.

Before they could hold their certificates aloft with pride, this year’s Hampshire and Isle of Wight Muddy Awards winners faced one final hurdle. They had to find our slightly off-the-beaten track vineyard venue!

Like so many hidden Hampshire gems, this one’s tucked away down a few ‘uh-oh-am-I-actually-lost-here’ country roads. Fortunately, they all found it. And boy, were they glad they did.

Welcome to the Muddy Awards 2021 Winner’s drinks.

Snaps from the brilliant @trudybaxendalephotography

The brand-spanking new, oh-so-stylish event space at Exton Park Vineyard sits surrounded by rolling vines and countryside, looking out over the most stunning views.

Guests were given a warm welcome and poured a glass of fabulous Exton Park Reserve Blend bubbles by MD Kit Ellen (above). Highly recommended!

Our winners sniffed, clinked, mingled and stared agog at the absolutely stunning new building and with its beautiful, design-led features.

We all tucked into absolutely gorgeous Cowes Grazing Cones, freshly-made and shipped in by the brilliant Cowes-based Borneo Pantry (above). Islanders: take note for your next soiree!

When all had mingled and a drink in hand, it was my absolute pleasure as editor to congratulate our incredible, creative and (after what we’ve all been through lately), extremely resilient local businesses owners.

We all raised a glass (cheers Charlotte Cornelius!) as I passed over to Exton Park’s Kit Ellen. Kit told us more about the vineyard and their beautiful new event space (click here for a full Muddy tour and tasting).

James Wright, MD of our brilliant sponsor, Jude’s Ice Cream, also took the floor. He explained how and why Jude’s has made the incredible journey to become Britain’s first ever (and possibly the world’s first) carbon negative ice cream and desserts company. Serious respect.

Then, after much ado – and plenty of homegrown English sparking wine – it was time for our wonderful winners to step up, collect their certificates…

…soak up the views… and party on!

Helping to keep everyone well refreshed, wine and spirits expert Jane Ray (left, bottom) from the Firsty Foal was on hand. Her pop-up bar was stocked with superb selection of drinks – including some sensational booze-free gins for the drivers. This lady really knows her stuff…

Winners from all sides of Hampshire including THE PIG New Forest, Alresford’s Moon Roast Coffee and Overton’s Olive Blossom Bridal laughed, relaxed and had their strike-a-pose moment.

We were delighted some of our fantastic Muddy Awards 2021 winners from the Isle of Wight also joined the celebration. They included Justin and Will (above), landlords at Muddy Best Destination Pub, The Old Fort Seaview.

Also joining in the fun were the absolutely lovely Suzi and Sarah from Summer Lilly’s Flowers in Newport.

Always ready to party, we had an absolute blast with our wonderful Winchester winners. Locals will recognise the fabulous Sass and Edge, Lord Hair Salon and H&B Style (above).

And all too soon, carriages awaited. Best foot forward (this one belongs to the lovely Katherine Lee Garden Design – very stylish!). And of course, we sent our winners on their way with a well-stocked goodie bag.

Want to know what’s inside? Oh, go on then…

So delicious he has a never-ending order list, many of the home-baked treats from The Millionaire Man (top left) were gobbled-up on the ride home. You know who you are!

Sponsor Jude’s Ice Cream popped in a can of cool, flat white coffee milkshake. Hampshire candlemakers Osme created some beautiful, hand-poured, pink bergamot-scented creations especially for the occasion. And the brilliant Isle of Wight Distillery added a glass of their IWSC Gold Award-winning Mermaid Gin to the mix. What a haul!

Now, before we all retire for a well-earned rest, it just remains for me to thank all of you, dear readers. You nominated, voted, supported local and made the 2021 Hampshire and Isle of Wight Muddy Awards a resounding success. Here’s to next year (clink!).

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