St Albans businesses feeling festive

A St Albans pub, and gift and homeware shop, were named “the most festive” after winning awards for their merry efforts.

The Boot has been named the Festive Pub of the Year in St Albans, with Lavendergreen taking the Festive Shop Window of the Year award.

The historic Boot pub, in Market Place, claimed the top spot over 14 rivals by impressing judges with its imaginative interior decorations.

Will Hughes, landlord of The Boot, said: "We are thrilled to win. We think we have done a pretty good job of creating a real festive atmosphere."

Lavendergreen, in London Road, which sells homeware and gifts, was voted Festive Shop Window of the Year, by changing its display weekly to constantly dazzle shoppers and passerbys.

Emma Bustamante, manager of Lavendergreen, said: "We are so happy to have won. It is really nice that our efforts have been recognised.

"We like to make our windows very sparkly and twinkly and change the display every week so people passing by can see different things."

The competition, in its seventh year, encourages shops and pubs to bring an extra sparkle to St Albans’ streets during the festive season.

The contest is run by St Albans City and District Council, the St Albans Review, St Albans Civic Society and the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce.

Judges visited the nominated pubs to assess their decorations, customer service, drinks selection and general atmosphere before selecting the winner. 

They also walked around St Albans identifying shops with bright, bold and beautiful decorations in their windows before picking the best festive display.

Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism for St Albans City and District Council, said: "Congratulations to the winners – they are a couple of Christmas crackers.

"The judges were impressed, though, at just how many shops, pubs and other City centre establishments were adding some excitement to the Christmas atmosphere.

"St Albans has really taken off over the past few years during the festive season with the Christmas market. Our shops and pubs are keeping up with the pace.

"They help to make the City a more attractive place for shoppers, revellers and visitors to St Albans during this important trading period. 

"There will be no let up next year.

"The Council is working to support the local economy by making St Albans a visitor destination for people throughout the year.

"The new museum and art gallery project forms part of this strategy."

Written by Isaac Ouro

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