Darlington dazzles at first ever #LoveDarlo awards
Our award winning Hippodrome theatre played host to the first ever #LoveDarlo town centre awards on Sunday evening aimed at celebrating all Darlington has to offer.
420 guests attended the ceremony which saw Darlington town centre businesses recognised in 12 different award categories from best bar to best fashion retailer.
The awards were aimed at recognising and rewarding businesses in the town and celebrated those retailers, bars, restaurants, market traders, cafes and leisure venues who play such a vital role in making Darlington a venue of choice for shopping, socialising and having fun.
In the weeks leading up to the awards businesses were asked to put themselves forward for any of the 12 award categories and an impressive 126 nominations were received.
The public were then asked to get involved and vote for their favourites in each category and a staggering 26,000 votes were cast to arrive at ten of the 12 eventual winners with two of the award categories decided by an independent judging panel.
The winners were:
- Customer Service Team - Tapas Bar
- Independent & Specialist Retailer - Guru Boutique
- National Retailer - Waterstones Darlington & Café W
- Best Bar - Voodoo Cafe
- Hair, Beauty & Health Retailer - Forty7 The Salon
- Best Café - Echo 3 Coffee House & Roastery
- Best Restaurant - Al Forno Italian Darlington
- Professional / Service Industry - Clark Willis Law Firm
- Market Traders - Fenwick's Family Butchers
- Leisure & Arts - The Forum Music Centre
- Shooting Star - Dan Rowlands (Up & Running Darlington)
- Fashion Retailer - Leggs Fashion
The event was hosted by BBC antiques expert David Harper with welcome drinks provided by the Little Quaker Distillery. The food for the event was provided by the Hole in the Wall Market Tavern and Kitchen with entertainment provided by the Darlington OS, who opened the first half of the event with a contemporary dance performance and Hippodrome youth dancers opened the second half.
Leader of the Council Heather Scott said: “What a fantastic first ever #LoveDarlo event, we couldn’t have asked for better engagement and support from everyone involved, in fact we are already planning for next November and hope this will become a long-term annual event for Darlington!
“Sunday wouldn’t have been possible without all of the sponsors which meant we were able to deliver a first class event so big thank you to all of them.
“This event has undoubtedly captured the imagination of the town centre businesses and it’s fair to say we’ve been overwhelmed by the massive show of public support for and interest in the event with over 26,000 votes being cast.
“It’s heartwarming to see the town come together to celebrate all that’s great about Darlington and to see businesses recognised for their contribution in making Darlington a vibrant, thriving and buzzing place to be.”
Event host David Harper commented on his Facebook page: “The very first Love Darlo awards at Darlington Hippodrome, amazing people, amazing place...Darlington is fabulous!!”
More about the event as well as event photographs can be found by visiting the #LoveDarlo Facebook page.
Well done to everyone involved and all the winners.