SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards 2023 winners revealed

The wait is over! Find out who has won a coveted SGGLA at this year’s SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards, proudly sponsored by Visit Gloucestershire and Made in Gloucestershire.

By Annabel Lammas Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Congratulations to the worthy winners of the 2023 SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards!

The winners of the sixth annual SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards have now been announced, during an exciting live reveal event at Dunkertons Organic Cider on Thursday 29 June 2023.

This year's finalists, category sponsors and special guests came together to find out who won across the 18 categories, as well as who scooped the coveted 'winner of winners' Lifestyle Business of the Year award, chosen by SGGLA headline co-sponsors, Visit Gloucestershire and Made in Gloucestershire.

With 191 business shortlisted; a staggering 25,000 votes cast by SoGlos readers during the public voting phase; and only the top contenders in each category being recognised as finalists, the competition has been fiercer than ever – with this year's winners and highly commended businesses chosen by an esteemed panel of judges.

All finalists were invited along to the exclusive event at Dunkertons Organic Cider, which was transformed into a striking events space with help from SGGLA event partner, PR Production Services; with a refreshing welcome drink from Dunkertons, loaded hot dogs from The Woozy Pig and wood-fired pizza from Bella Mia, as food and drink partners for SGGLA 2023. 

The incredible businesses that won over the public and judging panel to be crowned SGGLA winners were then revealed for the very first time, with the electric live event once again compered by Gloucestershire reporter for BBC Points West, Steve Knibbs. 

SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Award 2023 winners

SGGLA Cultural Venue of the Year 2023

Sponsored by 16i –

Winner: Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

Connecting people with nature through art, music, literature, guided walks and school learning, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum scoops the top spot for SGGLA Cultural Venue of the Year in 2023.

The magical tree garden is not only home to 2,500 botanical species and five national tree collections, but hosts magnetic cultural events throughout the year – from its breathtaking Enchanted Christmas light trail, to outdoor concerts and alfresco film screenings, not to mention its nature-inspired children's book festival, Wild Wonder at Westonbirt, which debuted in 2022.

Helen Chick, part of the marketing team at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, said: ‘We’re thrilled; elated; surprised! It is brilliant. The award is for everything Forestry England has done to make Westonbirt a special place. It is for the staff and for the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum – the hundreds of volunteers without whom it would not be the place it is.’

Highly commended: Painswick Rococo Garden

SGGLA Family Day Out of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Nimble

Winner: WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre

With the chance to get up close to wetland wildlife, explore immersive exhibits and splash about in the Welly Boot Land play area, WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre is a very well-deserving winner of this year's SGGLA Family Day Out of the Year award.

The beloved family attraction is the only place to see all six species of flamingo in the UK, with one of the largest aviaries in the country as well as one of the biggest amphibian collections in the whole of Europe. It's constantly updating its family offering, too, having recently created its own interactive app to enhance visitor experience and redeveloped Welly Boot Land to make it more accessible.

Gary Haseley-Nejrup, general manager WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, said: ‘It is wonderful to be recognised like this for all the hard work that has gone into making Slimbridge so special. It is an amazing place; a great place to spend some time; to get close to nature; to learn; to relax and it is a great place to work, too.’

Highly commended: Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park

SGGLA Independent School of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Montrose Group –

Winner: Rendcomb College

Preparing its students for their next steps by encouraging them to be thoughtful, adventurous and ambitious, Rendcomb College near Cirencester takes the title of SGGLA Independent School of the Year for 2023.

With an excellent reputation for academic achievement, commitment to pastoral care and ongoing holistic development, the school has a growing international reach and has reported record numbers attending its open mornings, with its sensible growth and development aspirations securing its place as one of the county's best independent schools.

Matt Walton, director of sport at Rendcomb College, said: ‘This is really exciting and recognises the achievements of the school and its fantastic staff who work so hard to help make it such a special place. But most importantly, it is about the incredible, talented young people who go there. It is a joy to work there.’

Highly commended: Westonbirt School

SGGLA Entertainment Venue of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Cleevely Electric Vehicles

Winner: The Sub Rooms

Bringing eclectic entertainment to rural Gloucestershire, The Sub Rooms in Stroud steals the spotlight as this year's SGGLA Entertainment Venue of the Year.

So much more than a music venue, The Sub Rooms is a hub for the whole community and puts local people at the heart of everything it does – with an ethos of accessibility and inclusivity; a diverse programme of entertainment; and ongoing opportunities for young people to get hands-on work experience in the arts and entertainment industry.

Hugh Phillimore, director of The Sub Rooms, said: ‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the people in Stroud who have supported The Sub Rooms and continue to. We are thrilled to be recognised and thrilled for the town.’

Highly commended: The Roses Theatre

SGGLA Sporting Venue of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Pro

Winner: Hartpury University and Hartpury College

Leading education provider, Hartpury University and Hartpury College, takes home the SGGLA Sporting Venue of the Year award for 2023.

Not only home to Premier 15s champions, Gloucester-Hartpury Women RFC, the university and college hosts world-renowned equine events – with Olympic and Paralympic stars coming to compete at the International Hartpury Horse Trials and Hartpury Festival of Dressage – as well as university and college matches across its disciplines.

Marc Richards, assistant director of elite sport at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said: ‘We are surprised to win against some really amazing venues. It is incredible. I think this shows that you can run a successful education, sports and community venue for everyone and make it a commercial success as well.

‘This has has been a great week for Hartpury – what with Hartpury-Gloucester winning the Allianz Premier 15s final, too!’

Highly commended: Forest of Dean Cycle Centre – Forestry England

SGGLA Restaurant of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Prosperity Care and Wellbeing –

Winner: Prithvi

This year, the hotly-contested title of SGGLA Restaurant of the Year goes to the Michelin-recommended Prithvi in Cheltenham.

Enhancing and elevating classic Indian cuisine with a winning combination of British ingredients and modern techniques, Prithvi offers a boutique dining experience, with à la carte, lunch and multi-course tasting menus to choose from.

Marta Wasowicz from Prithvi said: ‘The best thing about this award is it comes from local people who know what we do and like what we do. That is a wonderful feeling.

Laura Hatos, also from Prithvi, said: ‘Without our customers, who keep coming back and have voted for us, we simply would not be here. So thank you to all of them!’

Highly commended: KIBOU Japanese Kitchen and Bar

SGGLA Food / Drink Producer of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Hazlewoods –

Winner: Woodchester Valley Vineyard

Woodchester Valley Vineyard secures an SGGLA win in 2023, scooping the Food / Drink Producer of the Year award for its small production, premium quality English wines.

Run by one family, the single estate vineyard and winery creates still and sparkling wines with home-grown grapes from its sites in the Stroud Valleys, which it sells directly to customers, as well as supplying to some of the best pubs, wine merchants and farm shops in Gloucestershire. It also hosts year-round tours and tasting events, having welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors to its vineyards over the last 12 months.

Jeremy Mount, winemaker at Woodchester Valley Vineyard, said: ‘We have a great team that has been really excelling itself the last year and more. 

‘The combination of the wine, accommodation, the tours and tastings  it has all come together so well. To get this award in recognition is incredible.’

Highly commended: SISU Pancakes

SGGLA Pub / Bar of the Year 2023

Sponsored by The Growth Hub –

Winner: Stroud Brewery

Serving its own organic craft beer from its canalside taproom, cheers to Stroud Brewery for snapping up the SGGLA for Pub / Bar of the Year in 2023.

With local, organic food and drinks on the menu, plus regular live music and community events, it's not only a fantastic watering hole but an advocate for local people and the planet – committed to continually reducing its environmental impact and supporting the community, as well as producing exceptionally good beer, it's also a certified B Corp. 

Mike Powell of Stroud Brewery said: ‘This is really great. We want to be part of the community, so to be recognised by it like this is fantastic. Stroud Brewery is about bringing people together and I think the people of Stroud have embraced it and make it a special place to be. This award is for them as well.’

Highly commended: The Plough Prestbury

SGGLA Café / Coffee Shop of the Year 2023

Sponsored by ActionCOACH 

Winner: Botanica Coffee Kitchen

From hosting England's Lionesses for coffee and cake to winning at Gloucestershire's leading lifestyle awards... Cheltenham's Botanica Coffee Kitchen is SGGLA Café / Coffee Shop of the Year 2023!

Tucked away on Bramery Business Park, Botanica is a leafy green brunch café that serves speciality coffee and makes everything in-house – from its hash browns to its banana bread. It's also a great place to work with an incredibly low staff turnover that speaks volumes.

Emelye Durrant from Botanica said: ‘It is incredible to win and be singled out against some brilliant cafés and coffee shops. It would not have been possible without my staff. It is just incredible.’

Highly commended: The Canteen

SGGLA Chef of the Year 2023

Sponsored by The Royal Agricultural

Winner: Anuj Thakur – Tewkesbury Park

Guests can expect an exceptional dining experience at luxury hotel, Tewkesbury Park, with head chef, Anuj Thakur, winning the title of SGGLA Chef of the Year 2023.

Keeping food at the heart of Tewkesbury Park, Thakur draws on his Indian heritage and wealth of culinary experience to create inspiring, flavourful dishes across the hotel's menus – serving sensational, modern British cuisine that incorporates locally-sourced produce and the very best seasonal ingredients.

Thakur said: ‘I’m so pleased. It makes me happy to see that so many customers and the judges think what we are doing is worth this award.

‘For me, it is very special. Working at the hotel has given me the chance to celebrate the cultural diversity that help makes British food so great and it is great to be recognised for that.'

Highly commended: Rajesh Arumugam – Prithvi

SGGLA Hotel of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Six Property

Winner: The Greenway Hotel and Spa

Proving itself the ultimate spot for rest and relaxation, The Greenway Hotel and Spa is this year's SGGLA Hotel of the Year.

Set in rolling Cotswold countryside on the outskirts of Cheltenham, the hotel offers exceptional service and hospitality, with a blissful spa and three AA Rosette fine dining restaurant. Continually investing in its facilities, it recently completed an extensive bedroom refurbishment; refreshed the spa and added an outdoor hot tub; and introduced The Hide, a private space for small and intimate gatherings.

Craig Routledge, general manager of The Greenway Hotel and Spa, said: ‘This is huge. It is an amazing achievement. All of the team have been working so hard through really difficult times. It is still a testing time. We are so happy to have won.’

Highly commended: Wild Thyme and Honey

SGGLA Shopping & Leisure Destination of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Clockwise

Winner: Stroud Farmers' Market

It's one of the best-known farmers' markets in the UK... and now Stroud Farmers' Market is an SGGLA winner, too, securing this year's award for Shopping & Leisure Destination of the Year.

With over 50 local farmers and artisan food producers flocking to sell their wares every week, the market attracts visitors from all over the UK and even further afield. It's been instrumental in the regeneration of Stroud town centre from the dereliction of the late 1990s and has helped to put it firmly on the tourist map.

Joe Furnival from Stroud Farmers' Market said: ‘This feels great. This award is for our stall holders and those who provide the great produce – we just set up the market. It is the people who run the stalls, the people of Stroud who come and shop and enjoy the market... they are the people who really make this special and it is great to be part of that!’

Highly commended: Gloucester Quays

SGGLA Independent Retailer of the Year 2023

Sponsored by

Winner: The Cotswold Veg Box Co

The Cotswold Veg Box Co is the worthy winner of this year's SGGLA Independent Retailer of the Year award, making local produce available to everyone at accessible prices with its fresh fruit and vegetable boxes.

Born during lockdown as a response to a shortage of supermarket delivery slots, the company started off delivering boxes of high quality fruit and vegetables to Ebrington and the surrounding villages. Now, it operates a full-scale online retail store, delivering over 300 boxes a week across Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

Alex Turner, director and operations manager for The Cotswold Veg Box Co, said: ‘We were really, really not expecting this. We were just happy to be here.’

Ellie Lester, also from The Cotswold Veg Box Co, added: ‘We are working so hard we didn’t even think we would be able to come at one point. And now we’ve won!’

Highly commended: Jackeroo Boutique

SGGLA Pet Business of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Cotswold

Winner: Barking Buds

The dog training business with a huge community focus, Barking Buds fetches the award for Pet Business of the Year at SGGLA 2023.

With locations in Cheltenham and Frampton Mansell, Barking Buds offers everything from puppy classes and one-to-one training to drop-ins and social walks, keeping its 300-strong community of dog owners connected through supportive WhatsApp chats, Facebook groups and online training portals. 

Bethany Kent, founder of Barking Buds, said: ‘We were really, really not expecting to win! Just to be shortlisted and to be here felt like a win for us. It has been a lot of hard work to get this far, so this is brilliant, really brilliant.’

Highly commended: Be More Bob

SGGLA Property / Interiors Business of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Severnside

Winner: L'una Design

Cheltenham-based interior design agency, L'una Design, takes the trophy for SGGLA Property / Interiors Business of the Year in 2023.

Focusing on quality craftmanship and attention to detail, the L'una team offers bespoke interior design concepts for high-end clients and homeowners, combining form and function with style and personality; looking beyond current trends to create truly gorgeous properties that stand the test of time.

Pip Boocock, interior designer at L’Una Designs, said: ‘We are so incredibly proud. It's brilliant!’

Maria Dickenson of L’Una Designs added: ‘The whole of the team works so hard to make sure our customers get what they want. It is wonderful to have that recognised.'

Highly commended: Hot Tubs Rock

SGGLA Event of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Smart Home

Winner: Cheltenham Paint Festival

Turning Cheltenham into a colourful outdoor gallery year after year, the world-renowned Cheltenham Paint Festival is this year's SGGLA Event of the Year.

An unmissable event in Gloucestershire's annual calendar, the free festival brings artists from all over the world to Cheltenham, inviting them to create large-scale, public artworks across the town. The 2023 event is able to go ahead thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, which saw local people rally together to raise over £15,000 in support of the much-loved festival.

Andy Davies, founder of Cheltenham Paint Festival, said: ‘This is amazing. When I started running the event I hoped people would engage. Who would have dreamed that Cheltenham would have a paint festival? And when thousands went online during the Covid-19 lockdown to check out what we have been doing, that was great. Now to win this! It is just incredible.’

Highly commended: Forest Live at Westonbirt Arboretum

SGGLA Charity of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Active

Winner: Gloucestershire Animal Welfare Association and Cheltenham Animal Shelter

Helping pets in need since 1926, GAWA and Cheltenham Animal Shelter is the well-deserving winner of this year's SGGLA Charity of the Year award.

Working around the clock to care for and rehome dogs, cats and small animals, the staff and volunteers provide medical treatment and behavioural work to give stray, abandoned, rescued and signed-over pets the best chance of happiness. The shelter also offers boarding facilities, grooming services and veterinary care for local pet owners and has a dedicated Education Team that runs children's animal days, wellbeing sessions and animal-assisted interventions for troubled young people.

Peter Newcombe, general manager at Gloucestershire Animal Welfare Association and Cheltenham Animal Shelter, said: ‘This is such a huge and welcome surprise. This is for all the wonderful staff and volunteers who help made the shelter such an incredible place for the animals it looks after. We are so pleased to have won.’

Highly commended: Gloucestershire Young Carers

SGGLA Outstanding Contribution Award 2023

Sponsored by Cheltenham College –

Winner: Chun Kong – Maggie's Cheltenham

Handpicked by the category sponsor, Cheltenham College, the SGGLA Outstanding Contribution Award 2023 goes to Chun Kong, chair of the Maggie's Cheltenham board.

Devoted to helping others, Kong is described by colleagues as the 'kindest, humblest, honest and most selfless person', committed not only to his work for cancer charity Maggie's, but to helping other local charities and business people, too. As well as supporting Maggie's – and even hosting events for the charity at his restaurant, The Mayflower – he sits on the board for the Everyman Theatre; is a trustee of Gloucestershire Crimestoppers; and a committee member for both Cheltenham Festivals and Cheltenham Luncheon Business Club.

Anna Mason from Maggie's, who picked up the award on behalf of Kong, said: ‘Chun could not be here as he had to work. I don't think you could meet a more selfless person than Chun. What he does for his community is incredible. We are so grateful for the support he gives Maggie's.’

Kong, who spoke to SoGlos the morning after the awards, said: ‘Thank you. There are an awful lot of people in the county who help make it such a wonderful place. I am extremely humbled to be singled out. I support Maggie's because it is a great charity. They looked after a dear family friend. It is always personal with charities and Maggie's is special to me.

‘I think if you can, it is important to give something back to your community. You may or may not get any benefit yourself, but it will make your community an even better place.’

Highly commended: Julie Kent – Pied Piper Appeal

SGGLA Lifestyle Business of the Year 2023

Sponsored by Visit Gloucestershire and Made in Gloucestershire –

Winner: Stroud Brewery

Handpicked by headline co-sponsors Visit Gloucestershire and Made in Gloucestershire from all the winners on the night, the formidable Stroud Brewery takes the title of SGGLA Lifestyle Business of the Year 2023. Cheers to that! 

Mike Powell of Stroud Brewery said: ‘I think this really recognises the work that our founder, Greg Pilley, and the team have put in over the years. Hospitality is a difficult business at the moment. You have to work hard.

‘Greg started Stroud Brewery all those years ago with certain principals, with the aim of being part of his community and giving something back too. I think this award says he has managed that and more!’

Be part of SGGLA 2024

To find out more about sponsorship and partnership opportunities for SGGLA 2024 and the chance to associate your brand with Gloucestershire's leading awards, contact SoGlos's Partnerships Hub by emailing or calling (01242) 210330.

For more information, visit SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards.

More on Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards

More from Home