WEYMOUTH'S Al Molo restaurant, Fish 'n' Fritz and Nothe Fort are among the finalists in a tourism showcase celebrating the best in the South West.

They are joined by, among a host of other Dorset finalists, by: 

Jurassic Coast Guides for Experience of the year; Farmstead Glamping in a finalist in Glamping Site of the Year; The Tank Museum makes the Large Attraction of the Year final list and Dorset House in Lyme Regis and St John’s Guest House in Weymouth are finalists in the B&B and Guesthouse of the year category.


The South West England Tourism Excellence Awards 2020/21 programme was launched prior to the first national lockdown as it opened for entry in March 2020. After the longest ever awards season, 75 finalists and 33 commended businesses have been named, in a competition which saw 416 entries from across Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Bath, Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

The winners will be announced at an online awards ceremony on April 22. Before that, there will be a 'meet the finalists' event on April 13, where finalists and sponsors will get the chance to share their news and future plans.

Up to five finalists have been announced in each category, but all will have to wait until April 22 to learn whether they have won gold, silver or bronze awards.

Dorset Echo: Giuseppe Vannucci and Tim Newton, owners of Al Molo Picture: South West England Tourism Excellence AwardsGiuseppe Vannucci and Tim Newton, owners of Al Molo Picture: South West England Tourism Excellence Awards

Tim Newton, owner of Al Molo in Weymouth, said: "We are extremely proud and honoured to see Al Molo in the running for ‘restaurant of the year’ in the South West England Tourism Excellence Award.

"This is great recognition for the hard work and effort of our dedicated team, who have really risen to the challenges over the past year. It would be wonderful to think that we could welcome back our loyal customers in May with a new award under our belt!"

Dorset Echo: Paul Hay and Simone Leanne from Fish ‘n’ Fritz Picture: South West England Tourism Excellence AwardsPaul Hay and Simone Leanne from Fish ‘n’ Fritz Picture: South West England Tourism Excellence Awards

Paul Hay, owner of Fish ’n’ Fritz in Weymouth, said: "Here at Fish n Fritz, we are delighted to be finalists in the 2020/2021 South West England Tourism Excellence Awards 2020/21, ‘casual dining’ category. To get us this far for this prestigious award is mainly due to our hard-working, enthusiastic staff providing our customers with high-quality produce on a day-to-day basis throughout these difficult times.

"Our customers have been amazing throughout, being patient and understanding. We will continue in our efforts to keep serving you and new customers, of course."

Jo Ecroyd, customer service director of South West Water, who sponsor the awards, said: "We’re delighted to be headline sponsors of this year’s South West Tourism Awards. As a top FTSE business in the South West, we see it as our responsibility to promote and contribute to the regional economy, in which tourism plays such an important role.

"It has certainly been a challenging year for businesses, and we applaud all our finalists for their perseverance in the face of the challenges from the pandemic over the past year.

"The economy and wellbeing of our region is reliant on the environment we live in. That’s why we’re keen to continue our work with the tourism sector to enhance and protect our natural environment and to ensure that the South West is a sustainable and beautiful place to live and visit for many years to come."

For a full list of the businesses who have been named as finalists and commended, visit www.southwesttourismawards.org.uk/winners