Newbridge Nurseries is celebrating after being crowned the winner of the ‘Most Improved’ category in the annual Garden Centre Association (GCA) awards’ South Thames area final, beating 51 other centres to the title.
The Broadbridge Heath-based nurseries also scooped a further five awards, including second place in the Best Garden Centre and Best Restaurant categories and highly commended in the Best Plant Area category for hardy plants, house plants and bedding & seasonal plants.
Nigel Wait, the nurseries’ managing director, said: “It is a real testament to our team of staff who worked very hard throughout our redevelopment to make Newbridge a great place to visit, whether it’s to purchase plants and garden improvements, to enjoy a delicious meal at Stook’s restaurant or to browse our selection of gifts.”
He added: “We are very proud that Newbridge has been rewarded by the Garden Centre Association, which recognises the highest standards of quality in our industry.”
The GCA’s South East awards prize-giving took place at Cooling’s Garden Centre in Knockholt, Kent on July 10.
Liz Hutson, the GCA judge who awarded Newbridge Nurseries their prize, said: “I was particularly impressed by the food offering in the restaurant.
“Not only was it tasty and varied with plenty of healthy choices, the food was also locally sourced and the staff were excellent.”
She added: “Despite the fact that the inspection took place in March and in terrible weather conditions, the plant area was immaculate and contained a lovely range of plants.”
In order to become a member of the GCA, Newbridge Nurseries had to undergo an inspection that ensured that all areas of their business, from the signage to the toilets, were of a high standard.
Newbridge Nurseries sells a wide range of plants and bulbs, most of which are grown in Rudgwick, five miles from the centre.
The garden centre has been growing bedding plants since the early sixties.
The centre’s restaurant, Stooks, uses local, organic and fair-trade ingredients.