Monday, 13 May 2013

Trumpet Blowing...

Back in March we found out that we had been shortlisted for two national industry awards at 'THE GREATS' Gift Retailer Awards.  Completely flabbergasted but obviously chuffed to bits, mum and I started planning a little girlie day out in London...

The day came around quickly and on Thursday morning last week we got our glad rags on and set off on the train down to The Savoy (it's so posh they wrap their loo rolls up in tissue paper...) 

        Toilet roll wrapped in tissue... 
  Original little ashtrays in the toilets...

We thought you might like to know (and see) how our day went...

(So, you remember the scene at the end of Notting Hill where Julia Roberts is holding a press conference and Hugh Grant dashes across London to declare his undying love for her blah blah blah?  Well, the awards were held in that very room - terrible picture so you're going to have to trust me on this or click here to see it on you tube!)


Our table was right at the very back by the kitchen door (the naughty table) and as soon as we found our seats I said to mum; 'there's absolutely no way we're going to win; firstly, there's about 350 people here and secondly, they never put winners on tables right at the back - you didn't see One Direction sat at the back at The Brits...'

After 2 hours of 'networking and hob-nobbing' we sat down to a lovely meal and got ready for comedian Hal Cruttenden (very funny, camp but straight bloke) to present the awards. 

Me and mum enjoying ourselves

Finally, our catagory was announced -  Independent Gift Retailer of the Year 2013 (North & Northern Ireland).  Nervously holding each others hand, mum and I tried to concentrate on the nominees... And the winner is...<X Factor style dramatic pause> 'Nora's Interiors and Gifts, Ilkley'!!!! 

           Receiving our award
Our table (who were all strangers just a few hours before) cheered and whooped for us - to say we were gobsmacked was an understatement - we made our way up to the stage through the maze of chairs and tables and collected our (extremely heavy) award, posed for photographs and then 'bounced' back down to our table. 

If I'm honest, the rest of the awards was a bit of a blur and completely overwhelming... we couldn't stop grinning and have yet to come down from cloud nine!  For our little shop to be recognised by the industry at a national level is just incredible.  

Beautiful orchids at The Savoy

Once everyone had filtered out, we decided to have a celebratory 'brew' in the American Bar at The Savoy (well we are from Yorkshire) and the staff were so lovely - our award got its own chair!

We made our way back to Kings Cross ready for our journey home (and a marks and sparks sarnie on the train - we know how to live!)


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