Mazzard Farm scoops awards

OTTERY’S Mazzard Farm holiday cottages has been voted best British self-catering place in Sawday’s annual reader awards.

Sawday’s publishes a series of guidebooks recommending 5,000 special places to stay in the UK, Europe and beyond.

The categories for the awards were sent out via its monthly newsletter, and readers were invited to send in their favourites.

More than 1,000 votes were cast across six categories: Favourite British Hotel or Inn, Favourite British B&B, Greenest B&B or Hotel, Best Breakfast, Favourite British Self Catering Place and Favourite French B&B.

Mazzard Farm, East Hill, was established two and a half years ago by Jacqueline Parker and Ruud Jansen Venneboer. It was described by Sawday’s as “heaven for children and relaxing for grown-ups, with pampering treatments and heaps to do”.

Jacqueline said the accolade was a pleasant surprise. “We found out on Monday. It’s fabulous news as we were nominated by customers,” she said.

Having moved to the area three years ago from Guildford, Surrey, setting up six self-catering cottages was a leap into the unknown.

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“It was a complete change of lifestyle, we transformed derelict farm buildings into holiday accommodation,” said Jacqueline.

Sawday’s isn’t the only one to recognise Mazzard’s credentials. It won gold in the sustainable tourism category and silver in the best self-catering category of the Devon Tourism Awards, along with the Winner of Winners title. At the South West Tourism Awards it got silver in the sustainable tourism and best self-catering categories.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a few weeks,” said Jacqueline. “We’re pleased, because it’s been hard work setting this business up from scratch. But there are always new things to try, so we’re not just going to sit on our laurels.”