Eight Bedford finalists seek your votes in the Muddy Stilettos’ awards

Rogan's Books

The finalists of the Muddy Stilettos’ awards have now been announced, and the cream of Bedford’s independent businesses have been shortlisted.

Covering the whole of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, the shortlist includes eight Bedford businesses, including the Quarry Theatre and the D’Parys hotel.

The finalists achieved the most votes in the preliminary stages, but they now need your support once again to claim the award.

If you’d like to see your favourite Bedford business in with a chance of winning, you can vote for them at the Muddy Stilettos website. Voting closes on 22 May.

Congratulations to the following deserving finalists:

Best gift shop: épanoui (Mill Street)

Bar category: Bears & Tales (St Cuthbert’s Street)

Beauty salon category: Elysian (Castle Road)

Bookshop category: Rogan’s Books (Castle Lane)

Boutique stay category: D’Parys hotel (D’Parys Avenue)

Café category: Vanilla Tree (St Cuthbert’s Street)

Fitness instructor category: the Happy Body Project (Woodlands Park/Great Denham/Ravensden)

Theatre: Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s (St Peter’s Street)

Said finalist, Rachael Rogan: “It’s so exciting to be a finalist alongside some incredible indie bookshops. We’re very honoured – it would mean the world if our lovely customers could vote for us!”

“We’re over the moon to be one of the five finalists in the Best Gift Shop category,” said Hannah Paine, owner of épanoui. “Since starting épanoui at my dining room table in 2012, it’s been a rollercoaster journey.

“I feel so grateful to have such a wonderful team of people who make épanoui possible, such lovely customers who make it all worth it and a great group of independent shops as neighbours who inspire me daily.”

épanoui is a finalist in the ‘best gift shop’ category

“It’s great to be recognised for what we offer at the D’Parys,” said Luke Wood, manager at D’Parys. “Since we relaunched in November last year the site has gone from strength to strength. The team are doing an amazing job and to get recognised as a finalist in the ‘Muddy Stilettos’ awards, is a testament to their hard work. We love our rooms and its great that our guest do to.”

Julie Holl of the Happy Body Project said: “It’s so lovely to have been made a finalist. I am incredibly grateful for everyone’s votes and it makes me so happy to know that people enjoy my classes and personal training as much as I enjoy delivering them. I’m keeping my fingers crossed now!”

Quarry Theatre
Behind the scenes at the Quarry Theatre

“We are thrilled to learn that we have made the finals at this year’s Muddy Awards!” said James Pharaoh of the Quarry Theatre. “Many thanks to all those who put our theatre forward and good luck to all the finalists.”

‘We take alot of pride in our product and service, so we’re really proud to have been nominated for the award,” said Best Bar finalist, Gareth Barber. “As ever, Bears & Tales are extremely grateful for our customers support, and excited to reach the final stage of voting.”

To vote for your favourite finalist, visit the Muddy Stilettos website from 9am on Wednesday 15 May. Voting is open until 22 May, so be quick…

Now more than ever, we need your help to fund the Bedford Independent’s quality journalism that serves our community...

We choose to champion editorial independence, meaning we report the facts without bias and can stand up to those in power when we believe it’s needed.

We can give a voice to people in our community whose voices may otherwise not be heard. And we don’t have a paywall, so everyone can read the stories we publish for free.

But in this time of crisis, many news organisations all over the world are facing existential threat, with advertising revenues plummeting. We’re no different.

We work hard every day to bring you news, commentary, entertainment and announcements from across Bedford. We hope that, with your help, we’ll be able to continue this for many years to come.

Will you help sustain our work today by clicking below ? Even a small donation makes a difference for our future.

Thank you for your support.