Earlier this month, I was shocked and delighted to be presented with the Blogger of the Year award from Grenada Tourism Authority at the Pure Grenada Showcase and Awards: A Recognition of Excellence and Cultural Delight.
In a subtle nod to Pure Grenada’s excellent reputation for horticulture – having won fourteen gold medals in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the ceremony took place at the prestigious Garden Museum in Lambeth, near Westminster.
When it came to finding our seats, the tables were affectionately named after some of the spices, seeds and herbs associated with the Island of Spice: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cocoa (technically not a spice, but still an essential component of Grenada’s identity) and bayleaf.
A Pure Grenada welcome
With the lovely Rob Bates (PR Manager for the UK and Ireland) as MC for the evening, we were in very good hands. The evening kicked off with a traditional dance performance from Grenadian native, Shona Miralda Parks, followed by a speech from the new Chair of Grenada Tourism Authority, Brenda Hood.
Later on, we were treated to a moving performance from singer-songwriter, Lauren Ackie, who was raised in London but whose father originates from Carriacou.
Following on from this, we heard a talk from the CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher, who I met for the first time last year and again in Grenada back in May. It was excellent to discover that tourism in Grenada is up by over 20% year-on-year!
A Grenadian feast
We enjoyed a delicious Grenadian-inspired three-course meal consisting of curried pumpkin and sweet potato soup with bakes and bread rolls to start, followed by breast of organic Kent chicken with grilled sweet potatoes, tender stem broccoli and chermoula dressing. For dessert, we tucked into a chocolate tart using the drool-inducing Grenadian chocolate liqeur, Amaze-In paired with coconut ice cream. To finish, we drank Grenadian cocoa tea and nibbled on handmade Westerhall rum truffles, mini nutmeg-dusted custard tartlets and apple and cinnamon beignets.
After dinner, the awards ceremony commenced. I was overjoyed to win the Blogger of the Year Award in recognition of the pre- and post-event coverage I produced for Grenada Chocolate Festival following a press trip back in May.
Fellow bloggers, Heather Cowper from Heather on her Travels and Ursula Petula Barzey of Caribbean and Co also received awards for Best Social Media and Most Impactful Influencer, respectively. Heather and Ursula can be seen pictured with me in the below photo, along with CEO Patricia Maher.
Our iconic Pure Grenada nutmeg awards were handmade by Grenadian wood carver, Carlos Guttens of Urbane Woodz using cinnamon wood.
This award means a lot to me because I’m extremely passionate about Grenada and its people, and it’s great to know that my coverage has helped to encourage tourists to visit the country.
Looking to the future, I’ll be returning to Grenada for a holiday and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my experiences from the Island of Spice – watch this space!