Twittering about the best of Shropshire
With so many of the county's businesses and individuals now using Twitter, we wanted to give our followers the chance to tell us about the things that make our county so special. And the result? The 2009 Shropshire Star Twitter Awards!
Shropshire tweeters have been telling us about their favourite things in the county using the popular social networking site Twitter.
Followers of the Shropshire Star's Twitter page at www.twitter.com/ShropStar sent in their votes across five categories: favourite place to eat, favourite shop, favourite artisan, favourite view and favourite person on Twitter.
With so many businesses and individuals now using the site, we wanted to give our followers the chance to tell us about the things that make our county so special, from its stunning landscapes to its best-kept culinary secrets.
And the result? The 2009 Shropshire Star Twitter Awards!
Find out who our followers have nominated by scrolling through the pages below...
FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT
The Twitterers' Choice: The Jolly Frog, Leintwardine.
Just across the Shropshire border, the village of Leintwardine was put on map when Jeremy Paxman stumbled upon the now-famous Sun Inn when the late Flossie Lane was landlady.
And now, the village is back in the spotlight as foodie fans on the social networking site have named Leintwardine pub The Jolly Frog their favourite place to eat.
The Frog has been something of a well-kept secret in south Shropshire, though it's known and loved by regulars for dishing up seasonal favourites such as local game and specialities including wood-fired pizza and gluten or dairy-free delights, and its fresh fish is famous.
"It's the best food, atmosphere and chef combination in the area," says Phil Austin of Ludlow shop @AbundantLudlow.
Fellow tweeter Karen Thorne of @HoptonHouseBnB agrees: "They're great value for money and the atmosphere is cosy and informal. There's lots of fresh fish on the menu but the Chateaubriand is to die for!"
Visit their website for more information at www.jollyfrogpub.co.uk
THE BEST OF THE REST:
The Golden Cross, Shrewsbury: "Fantastic slow-roast belly pork, good wine list and lush interior. It's a very comfy place to be!" - @PamNewall
Casa Ruiz, Bridgnorth: "It's holed up out of the way, which should be bad for a business but because their tapas is so good, it's become a valuable secret."- @JamesHannah
The Walls, Oswestry: "The Walls has the WOW factor: great atmosphere, very tasty and well-presented food, and top class service." - @BestOfOswestry
The Parkway, Ludlow: "They adapt their menu for different dietary needs. It's friendly and there's private dining in the upstairs area." - @CaroleRMP
Mad Jacks, Shrewsbury: "Great food, fantastic environment, comfortable and classy, with the option to eat outside!" - @JimInTheMorning
The Crown, Oakengates: "Great selection of local and national real ales, lagers and ciders. There's live music each week and a very friendly atmosphere." - @BigDaddyMerk
Restaurant Severn, Ironbridge: "Small, friendly, great atmosphere, reasonably priced, lovely food and you get to see Ironbridge afterwards!" - @JasonSlater
The Old Orleton, Wellington: "It's modern yet cosy and the food is local, tasty and refined. The ale is Hobsons!" @Stavros79
Sweeney Hall, Morda, Oswestry: "The food is always outstanding. Never quite looks enough but it's actually just right. Can't fault it!" - @LowrieHerz
The Copper Kettle, Leebotwood: "Fantastic food in a relaxed, warm and friendly environment excellent!" - @Col_RFTL
Cloisters, Shrewsbury: "Their gluten free sandwiches are actually edible and they do a gorgeous lemon drizzle cake!" - @Valdary
The Royal Hill, Edgerley: "Affordable, good beer and people will talk to you when you dine on your own!" - @AndyBodders
The Station Inn, Horsehay: "Always great food accompanied by quality cask ales — can't have a good meal without quality cask ale!" - @StevanEgg
FAVOURITE SHOP IN SHROPSHIRE
The Twitterers' Choice: Number Eight Books, Wellington
Number Eight is a surprise winner in our Twitterers' list of favourite Shropshire shops.
Tucked away in Crown Street, this tiny but infinitely charming bookshop, complete with a charismatic owner in the form of Perce Muscutt, is a treasure trove of brilliant books, from the informative to the unusual.
Local tweeters felt that it was the shop's quirky atmosphere and individuality that put it ahead of some of the larger, more well-known bookshops in the area.
"Staff at Number Eight are very helpful," says twitterer @BigDaddyMerk.
"They stock a great selection of new and second-hand books and the shop has a very relaxed atmosphere much better than a chain."
Visit their website at www.numbereightbooks.com
THE BEST OF THE REST:
Tuesdays Chocolates, Market Drayton: "Great handmade chocolates. The shop smells great as soon as you walk in - so tempting!" - @MDFarmersMarket
Tanners, Bridgnorth: "The atmosphere is one of magical wine secrets; it's like the grown-up equivalent of Wonka's Chocolate Factory! Helpful staff, too." - @JamesHannah
Wysteria Lane, Shrewsbury: "I could spend hours in there. And carrying one of their pink bags is a treat in itself!" - @TheMasonicShrew
Walls' Butchers, Ludlow: "Unfailingly helpful, generous and thoughtful." - @Hare_Wood
Ippikin, Much Wenlock: "I love the Aladdin's cave of yarn that is Ippikin! Hand painted yarns, fabulous buttons, crafted items and welcoming staff." - @TelfordVolServe
Music Bros, Shrewsbury: "Gorgeous instruments, very helpful people. I need a loyalty card!" - @JimInTheMorning
Crystal Labyrinth, Ironbridge: "The shop smells good and I love all the twinkly crystals!" - @ChrissyMarie321
The Nice Cream Company, Shrewsbury: "Wonderful service without being pushy, quality beauty products you can't get elsewhere, ideal place for a treat!" @Jo_PebblePR
7 Computers, Bridgnorth: "Very clued-up and friendly service. Nothing is too much trouble, and there's no hard sell either." - @KevinAdams
FAVOURITE SHROPSHIRE ARTISAN
The Twitterers' Choice: Fareground, Wrockwardine Village
With his antipasti treats like freshly prepared stuffed peppers, olives, salads, pesto and pates, Talfryn Bowen of artisan food company @Fareground brings the sun-soaked flavours of the Mediterranean to the four corners of Shropshire.
He's become a firm favourite amongst the county's twittering foodies, and can frequently be found selling his delicious produce at farmers markets across the county from Market Drayton to Much Wenlock.
"He's a fabulous artisan food producer and a keen supporter of Shropshire Farmer's Markets," says John Waine of @BestOfOswestry.
And Sharon Fox-Byrne from @MDFarmersMarket adds: "Talfryn runs a nice stall with great-looking produce. And there's always good banter from the stallholder!"
Find out more about Talfryn's products at www.fareground.co.uk
THE BEST OF THE REST:
Sarah Hill Glass Jewellery, Wem: "Sarah works 24/7 and is an absolute perfectionist. She's just developed an eco-friendly Salopian glass cheese plate that's already won awards." - @JanMinihane
Pigs in Clover, Cardeston: "Their bacon is fabulous and there can't be many dancing, trampolining pigs in Shropshire!" - @DecoRayt
Hobson's Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer: "It's simply great beer - the Twisted Spire is one of the nicest ales going, and they've won national awards for their Mild." @Stavros79
Elspeth Soper Ceramics, Broseley: "Elspeth makes absolutely gorgeous pottery." - @BenjiW
Appleby's Cheese, Broadoak, Nr Shrewsbury: "I like Appleby's because they're specialist and family run." - @TadpolePR
Williams & Byrne Stained Glass, Stanton Lacy: "Beautiful work, amazingly skilful." - @JimInTheMorning
Bridgnorth Brewing Co, Bridgnorth: "Good idea, well executed. I'm no real ale connoisseur, but I know what I like!" - @JamesHannah
Simon Crutchley Woodturning, Blists Hill: "His workmanship is incredible. People just don't put effort in like that anymore delightful stuff." - @ChrissyMarie321
Toot Sweets, Shrewsbury: "They make the best chocolates and fudge ever, as well as a fantastic service from the owner, Julie, who works incredibly hard!" - @RedRecruitment
FAVOURITE VIEW IN SHROPSHIRE
The Twitterers' Choice: The Long Mynd, Church Stretton
Towering up to 1,693 ft above sea level, the awe-inspiring hills of the Long Mynd are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and with good reason.
From the striking peaks of Pole Bank and Caer Caradoc to the winding Carding Mill Valley, the whole area is a favourite spot for Salopians all year round, whether they¹re seasoned hikers, ramblers and climbers or families out for a bracing stroll.
From the summit of almost every hill on the Long Mynd, there are far-reaching views across the Cambrian Mountains, the Berwyn Mountains and even Snowdonia on a clear day.
"The hills are beautiful in every season," says @JimInTheMorning. "It's inspiring to see them from afar and to be amongst them."
Fellow twitterer @Lydbury agrees: "I like the views from the nearby Bury Ditches Hill Fort, but my ashes are going on the Long Mynd!"
Others prefer the view of the Mynd from the valley below: "It's so pretty," says @ChrissyMarie321. "And Cardingmill Valley always reminds of me building dams and eating picnics!"
For more information visit www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk
THE BEST OF THE REST:
Bridgnorth from High Rock: "I love the breathtaking view of Bridgnorth from High Rock. It's high enough to see the whole valley in either direction. It's quite remote too, so it's often fairly quiet up there." - @KevinAdams
Oliver's Point at Nescliffe: "Just stunning!" - @TadpolePR
Chelmarsh Reservoir: "Great wildlife, great sailing, very relaxing and beautiful." - @CybilRat
The Village Pond at Badger: "Very pretty!" - @Valdary
Other favourites include the view of the Wrekin from Wellington Cricket Club, Mortimers Forest, Bridgnorth town from High Rock and Ludlow Castle from Lilleshall Hill.
FAVOURITE SHROPSHIRE TWITTERER
The Twitterers' Choice - @JimInTheMorning
BBC Radio Shropshire's much-loved presenter Jim Hawkins has been one of the most prominent local personalities to embrace social media since Twitter first gained popularity.
Jim, who presents the mid-morning show, received an overwhelming number of votes for building an online community of listeners from all over the county and encouraging them to get involved with local issues.
"What he's done with Twitter to make his show interactive is genius," says @Wonkotsane.
"He single-handedly brings Shropshire people together," agrees @JanMinihane. "He works non-stop and is just a lovely man too!"
And @Valdary voted for Jim because "he puts Shropshire tweeps in touch through show credits, building the spirit of kindness across Twitter."
In one of our earlier Twitter Talk columns, Jim told us: "I've worked everywhere from Brighton to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but I'm thrilled to be here in Shropshire!
"I've met some wonderful people from all across the county through Twitter - there are so many lovely, funny, clever and stimulating people on here, many of whom I would never have met otherwise."
Visit www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire and follow the links to Jim's show.
THE BEST OF THE REST:
@DawnUpTheRoad: "She's used Twitter to enable us all to share her amazing life experiences via her blog." - @JimInTheMorning
@EmmaLJones: "Emma is inspiring, fun and informative!" - @TadpolePR
@HoptonHouseBnB: "Karen tweets some really interesting stuff. I would definitely stay there if I didn't live in Shropshire!" - @CareerGuidance
Thanks to all our followers who voted in our Twitter Awards. You can find and follow us on Twitter too at www.twitter.com/ShropStar
By Lara Page