Peak District hotel and restaurant owner David Hardman, from the multi award-winning East Lodge, presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Her Grace the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, at the recent Visit Peak District & Derbyshire (VPD&D) Excel Tourism Awards 2010.
The 12th Duke and Duchess joined 170 other guests at the lavish event at Chatsworth House to pay tribute to the Dowager Duchess, who as one of the famous Mitford sisters has packed in an amazing amount into nearly 90 years of life. The inspiration behind various innovations at Chatsworth, including the Farm Shop, Her Grace is the author of several books and a unique exhibition at Chatsworth from March 14 to October 31 will mark the nine decades of her life and service to the Peak District.
Upon receiving the award from Mr Hardman, the Dowager Duchess joked that she “might have had some ideas” over the years, but she modestly played down her own work and praised they key roles played by not just her late husband, but all the behind the scenes team at Chatsworth.
“It was an honour and a pleasure to present this much deserved award to Her Grace on behalf of the whole region,” said East Lodge owner David Hardman. “The Duchess alongside her late husband was responsible for the transformation of Chatsworth into the success story it is today and its enduring popularity as a tourist attraction has helped every local business, including ours, to prosper. We all owe the Duchess a debt of gratitude for her foresight and vision and this award is long overdue and it is thrilling for East Lodge to be a part of it.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, Her Grace’s son and the current Duke of Devonshire added, “The Duchess and I and all who work at Chatsworth were delighted to see my mother receive this award.”
Worth a staggering £1.4 billion a year and employing more than 24,000 people, the tourism industry in Derbyshire makes a considerable contribution to the success and prosperity of the region so presenting a lifetime achievement award to the Duchess is a fitting tribute for someone who has contributed so much to the region’s enduring success, with a positive knock-on effect for other businesses in the region like East Lodge.
Set in the heart of the Peak District National Park, East Lodge is the closest hotel to Chatsworth and has proved a popular pace to stay and dine for visitors to the region and the famous House and has become the first choice for couples seeking the perfect wedding venue. The evening was transformed into a night of triumph for East Lodge, when the hotel’s Brian Gammon beat off competition from over 70 other entries to collect the Unsung Hero award.
East Lodge is owned by the Hardman family and in addition to sponsoring and presenting the award for the Duchess in the VPD&D Awards, has picked up a wide range of prestigious accolades over recent years. East Lodge has again achieved the coveted AA “Inspectors’ Choice” accolade with three red stars for 2010, placing it within the top 150 hotels in the UK and is one of just 48 hotels in UK presented with the Visit England Gold Award.
For further information about East Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, visit www.eastlodge.com
or call 01629 734474 to discuss your requirements.