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Conference and Hospitality Show 2016

Conference & Hospitality Show LogoConference and Hospitality Show(CHS) is the leading event in the North for event organisers, venue finders and PAs.

The show is now in its 7th year and for 2016 they are relocating to the world class first direct arena in central Leeds.

The event incorporates an exhibition of national companies - including venues, hotels and suppliers of meetings products and services, numerous education sessions and networking events.

Why not visit Signpost Hotel, Coniston Hotel & Spa on stand J25.

The World's Original Marmalade Awards winners announced!

The World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival 2016

The much anticipated results for The World's Original Marmalade Awards have finally been announced! The awards took place on 19th & 20th March at Dalemain Mansion, with a whopping nearly 3000 entries, including 160 overseas homemade entries – not counting the MarmalAshes – and many more Artisan jars from as far as Korea, Singapore and South Africa. 2016 has proven that marmalade can no longer be seen as a quaint British spread.

Signpost proudly sponsored the Hotel, B&B and Restaurant category - there were two Double Gold winners who set the bar very high with their jars of golden goodness. The Old Excise Hotel bagged their award adding delicious Lagavulin whisky, and the Maisy Suite served up a fruity Seville, kumquat and apricot


Jane Hasell-McCosh, Marmalade Awards & Festival organiser, said: “We are delighted at the success of working with our Festival Partners and I can’t thank them enough - Rheged, Penrith and Jim Walker for making this happen, moving the Festival into the next Decade and helping us to celebrate and champion marmalade. Our sponsors have one again been fantastic, united by a love of marmalade, and the result has been extraordinary.”

The 2016 awards new categories proved particularly popular with fantastic entries for the Hairdressers category, and ever-increasing entry numbers for the MacNab (Marmalade to be served with Savoury Food). Once again, the Marmalade Awards have proven themselves as THE award for marmalade with entrants of all ages, from all over the world. With the festival expanding to take place over three venues, in an exciting move that sees the town of Penrith and Rheged visitor’s centre hosting a range of marmalade activities over the Festival weekend, the awards look set to continue reaching greater heights.

For more details of all the winners, both amateur and artisan, of this year’s Awards, visit

Twitter: @MarmaladeAwards

Facebook: The World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival


The World’s Original Marmalade Awards expands for the first time

Judging of the entries for the 2016 World Marmalade Festival at Dalemain, Penrith. Photo credit Hermione McCosh

The World’s Original Marmalade Festival, taking place 19th & 20th March, is expanding.


For the first time, the festival will take place across three locations, with Penrith town centre going Orange, and Rheged centre hosting a range of activities.

The festival will include workshops on marmalade; an Ivan Day lecture; chefs demonstrations; artisan food markets and readings of Paddington Bear with lots of children's activities. A particular highlight is that our patron, Paddington Bear – the movie star - will be taking time out of his busy schedule to attend the Festival!

Now approaching its 11th year, the awards have attracted over 2700 lovers of all things sticky and sweet. Sponsored by Mackays, Fortnum & Mason and Paddington, a whopping amount of nearly £200,000 has been raised for charities including Marie Curie Scotland and Action Medical Research.

Signpost are proudly sponsoring the Hotel, B&B and Restaurant category.


Twitter: @MarmaladeAwards

Facebook: WorldMarmaladeAwards


Signpost 'Best in Class Awards' 2016

The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa, winners of the Best Leisure & Spa Hotel 2016

The winners of the prestigious Hudson’s Heritage Awards were announced today. Established in 2011, the awards are an independently judged annual national scheme open to historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites.

Signpost, the UK’s longest established hotel guide, also presented three awards for ‘Best Hotel 2016’, 'Best Dining Experience' and 'Best Leisure & Spa Hotel'. Signpost was acquired by Hudsons in 2013 and has been promoting the UK’s finest hotels since 1935 making it the longest continually published hotel guide in the country.



Best Hotel 2016: The Dart Marina Hotel

Dart Marina Hotel, Dartmouth, is a luxury Devon hotel situated on the banks of the River Dart, providing stylish hotel accommodation and self-catering luxury apartments with stunning views over the river.

Highly Commended: The Norfolk Mead Hotel

Best Dining Experience: Langar Hall

Together with her chef Gary Booth, Imogen, now aided by daughter Louise, works hard to produce excellent, reasonably priced menus of French and English food, using local produce, garden vegetables and herbs, Langar lamb, stilton & pork, game from the Belvoir estate and fish from Brixham.

Highly Commended: Eckington Manor

Best Leisure and Spa Hotel: The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa

The Coniston Hotel Country Estate and Spa boasts a atate of the art Spa includes, 8 treatment rooms, gym, studio, 15m pool, steam, sauna, salt inhalation, infinity pool with great views.


Dalemain Marmalade Awards

Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th March 2016

 As the 2016 awards celebrate another year of sponsorship from Signpost, we're encouraging our member hotels to enter the Hotel, B&B and Restaurant category!

Marmalade makers across the globe are invited to submit entries for The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival that will take place at Dalemain Mansion and Gardens in Cumbria, in March next year.

Now approaching its 11th year, the awards have attracted over 2700 lovers of all things sticky and sweet. Sponsored by Mackays, Fortnum & Mason and Paddington, a whopping amount of nearly £200,000 has been raised for charities including Marie Curie Scotland and Action Medical Research.

Contestants can enter their jars of delicious goodness into 3 different categories; Homemade, Artisian, and Hotel, B&B and Restaurant, with sub-categories within.

Good luck with your entries!


To enter or to purchase tickets visit The World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival website for terms of entry, sub categories and application forms. Deadline for entry is 14th February 2016.


Couple snap up Margaret Thatcher’s favourite Malvern retreat

Nick and Julia Davies - Cottage in the Wood

A MALVERN hotel which was one of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite places to visit has been snapped up by a determined couple.

The Cottage in the Wood, situated on the Malvern Hills, was also dubbed the ‘best view in England’ by a national newspaper and lists the likes of CS Lewis, Sir Edward Elgar and Baroness Thatcher as famous guests.

Nick and Julia Davies moved to the area after 20 years in London and bought the ‘beautiful’ site for £1.75million from the Pattin family, who ran the hotel for 29 years.

And Nick, who grew up on Bredon Hill, told The Observer the pair were looking to enhance the hotel for both people in the town and further afield.

“I think it is a great legacy for the hotel that it was Margaret Thatcher’s favourite,” he said. “There is a wonderful history behind it.

“This really ticked all the boxes.”

“We are now really looking forward to taking the hotel to new heights and creating a place that can be enjoyed and loved into the future.”

Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa named Winners in the World Luxury Spa Awards 2015…


Whittlebury Spa Hydrotherapy Pool

Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa
are delighted to announce that they have been named Winners in the World Luxury Spa Awards 2015 in the UK Country categories of Best Luxury Hotel Spa and Best Luxury Day Spa.

The World Luxury Spa Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for Luxury Hotels and Spas worldwide. Award winners set the benchmark for luxury hotels and spas on the global front in achieving recognition for exceptional achievement in service delivery, as winners have been voted for by visiting guests.

The luxury four-star Hotel and Spa, based in rural Northamptonshire boasts 213 bedrooms, 3 restaurants and The Leisure Club which includes a 19-metre pool, whirlpool spa and gym with the latest equipment. Whilst The Day Spa at Whittlebury Hall, one of the largest in the country offers 23 treatment rooms and a choice of more than 60 treatments, plus a Hair Studio, relaxation area and quiet room.

Michael Stott, Director said: "We are extremely proud to have won such a prestigious award. It's a true reflection of how our customers are the heart of all that we do and we aim to continue to exceed our guests’ expectations every time they visit. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us”

Congratulations to The Gilpin Hotel and Executive Head Chef Hrishikesh Desai for winning a prestigious 'Outstanding Contribution to Tourism' award!

Hrishikesh Desai Executive Head Chef at The Gilpin Hotel

VisitEngland has named ‘The Chefs of England’, as the winner of this year’s prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award. The winner was revealed at its annual Awards for Excellence ceremony, held at the spectacular Sage Gateshead.

Accepting the award on behalf of all ‘The Chefs of England’ was Hrishikesh Desai, winner of Chefs on Trial, the popular BBC2 TV series featuring hotel expert Alex Polizzi. Hrishikesh beat off stiff competition to be crowned Executive Head Chef at The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, an exclusive country house hotel in the Lake District.

Read on for the full article.


The World's Original Marmalade Awards and Festival

Find out more about the World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival

The World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival took place from 28th February - 1st March and we were delighted to be official supporters of the Award for Hotels, Restaurants and Bed & Breakfasts.

We would like to wish huge congratulations to Wemyss House B&B in Bayfield near Tain, who won Double Gold in this category. Their homemade Fine Cut Seville Orange Marmalade impressed the judges with its powerful citrus flavour.

Congratulations to Wemyss House and to all other B&B and hotel owners who entered - keep making great homemade marmalade. For more information on Wemyss house and the other winners visit the festival website.

You can also do a tour of award winning marmalades by following the marmalade map.

Signpost announce winners of special
Hotel of the Year Award

Picture showing winners of 'Hotel of The Year Award'

The winners of the prestigious Hudson’s Heritage Awards were announced today. Established in 2011, the awards are an independently judged annual national scheme open to historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites. Signpost, the UK’s longest established hotel guide, also presented an award for ‘Hotel of the Year’. Signpost was acquired by Hudsons in 2013 and has been promoting the UK’s finest hotels since 1935 making it the longest continually published hotel guide in the country.

Signpost is delighted to announce that the winner of the Hotel of the Year Award was awarded to Norfolk Mead Hotel at Coltishall on the Norfolk Broads. Equal runners-up and Highly Commended were Nanteos Mansion, near Aberystwyth and Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel in the Lake District.

Norfolk Mead Hotel was bought by James and Anna Holliday two years ago. Anna, who is the chef, also has her own catering company looking after outside events and receptions. In 2014 they won the Visit Norfolk Tourism Award and have an AA rosette for cuisine.

Nanteos Mansion only became a hotel three years ago and has recently been named by Historic Hotels Europe as being one of the Top 50 most historic hotels in Europe. Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel is an exceptionally situated hotel overlooking Lake Windermere. It won the 2013 Visit England Silver Award for Small Hotel of the Year as well as having four AA red stars and three AA rosettes for cuisine in a Michelin – starred restaurant.

Gary Swarbrooke, Signpost Manager stated “We asked our hotels what they had done in 2014 to exceed customer expectation and how this improved their customer service. All three hotels have seen the importance of customer feedback and how hoteliers are fine tuning their operation to take account of this. This year the hotel sector has more optimism than during the last seven years. Hotels hope they may be able to improve average room yield after years of frozen and barely break-even pricing. The greater liquidity should help hotels enhance and improve their products still further”.

James & Anna Holliday from Norfolk Mead Hotel said, “We are thrilled to have won this coveted award. We felt 2014 was the year when we started to shine as a team. We have grown from 3 to 19 staff in two years and have been lucky to have a lot of customer support. We learn a lot from our customer’s comments, good or bad. Nearly every review or feedback states how helpful and happy our staff are. We are always looking to improve our service and guest experience and would be unable to do so without their feedback”.

Picture Showing Award Winners and runners up.

Yorkshire’s Hotel of the Year announces 2015 Spa development

Coniston Hotel Spa Development

The Coniston Hotel, voted Yorkshire’s “Large Hotel of the Year” by Welcome to Yorkshire in the current White Rose Awards, has today announced the development of a state of the art Spa, which will be opened this Autumn.

The 16,500ft2 development will be located adjacent to the Hotel with peaceful and stunning views over the 24-acre lake and the wider Yorkshire Dales countryside.

Creating at least 35 new jobs for the local market, the new Spa’s facilities will include a 15m swimming pool, thermal suite, gym, dance studio, spa treatments, relaxation and dining areas, and an outdoor spa pool and terrace.

The Coniston Spa will be open to hotel guests and day visitors from the local area, and will offer an exclusive club membership limited to a set number of members. Memberships will go on sale this spring.

Mark Green of Yorkshire-based Curveline Design and leading spa consultant Nicki Kurran, who has previously worked with Champneys and The Dorchester, are working with the project team to deliver the spa, which is due to open late Autumn 2015. East Lancashire-based Barnfield Construction has been appointed main contractor to deliver the build, which is officially starting on Monday 19th January, with Yorkshire Bank backing the project.

Michael Bannister, Chairman of The Coniston Hotel, says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be able to make this announcement right at the beginning of the New Year. It’s going to be an exciting 2015 for all involved in the development of the spa and the hotel, and we’re expecting that before the end of the year we will have created a fantastic new facility for our hotel guests and local residents, and one which will not only create many new jobs but will bring more visitors to this part of the Dales for years to come”.

2016 Membership opens in May!

Our board of inspectors are packing their travel bags in anticipation of visiting Britain's finest hotels. Will you be receiving a visit? Watch out for our exclusive invitations to appear in the 2016 Edition.



picture showing Signpost 2016 Membership Invitation


Dalemain Marmalade Awards

Signpost are delighted to announce that they are supporting The World's Original Marmalade Awards and Festival next year.

As good food is so important in Signpost Hotel’s we would like to encourage you all to take part in the Hotel, B&B and Restaurants competition, In Association with Mrs Bridges Marmalade, for Marmalade served to customers but not sold to the general public.

Last year, over 2,400 golden jars of marmalade were entered into the competition. The International competition sponsored by Mackays of Dundee attracted entries from as far away as Australia, South Africa, South Korea, New Zealand and Alaska.

This is a great opportunity to get recognition for your special marmalade and for other people to hear about it. Visit to find out more.

The closing date for entries is 15th February 2015 so get cooking.


There have been some wonderful articles written about Signpost hotels in the last few months. Click on the links below to read all about it.

Budock Vean

The Coniston Hotel & Estate

Aynsome Manor Hotel


Congratulations to Maison Talbooth!

Picture showing the outdoor pool at Maison Talbooth

Congratulations to Maison Talbooth, in Suffolk for being selected by the Telegraph Travel section as one of Britain’s Best Hotels with outdoor pools for the second year running. Check out number 14.

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