Last year the Dorsett Hotel won a BBS Award as Best (Accessible) Venue in a Listed Building and here they receive it at their Grade II Listed hotel in Shepherd’s Bush London. Proving that Listed Buildings can be accessible too!!

Dorsett Hotel, London Receiving Their BLADE For Exceptional Disabled Facilities With Style
Dorsett Hotel, London Receiving Their BLADE For Exceptional Disabled Facilities With Style

Every year we host The BLADES  – The BBS Awards – celebrating exceptional venues that have both style and accessibility for disabled people. In 2017 the 4th annual awards were held at a cocktail party in London on October 4th, just after the Michelin Stars are awarded. We like to think of ourselves as their ‘nemesis’ as accessibility is not part of their awards system. We know this as far too many Michelin Starred restaurants have no facilities for disabled people.

An example is Midsummer House in Cambridge who according to Cambridge City Council, gave planning permission in 2003 and 2011 for a disabled toilet. However, as of today they still have not installed one, even though they had the money to expand their conservatory. Here’s their latest statement:

‘The main restaurant is accessible with wheelchair however our washroom facilities are on the first floor, accessible only by a flight of stairs. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause for those with accessibility needs.’

Previously they stated the building was too old to revise the plumbing and that there was a disabled toilet a few metres away at the nearby pub. We know this pub and it’s pretty scruffy and at least more than 50 metres from the restaurant over quite rough terrain. We’d love to know if the staff have a toilet on the ground floor??


Midsummer House Michelin Starred Restaurant With No Disabled Toilet - C'mon It's 2018!!
Midsummer House Michelin Starred Restaurant With No Disabled Toilet – C’mon It’s 2018!!

Sorry went on a rant for a moment, back to 2018, The BLADES will be in their 5th year and Awards will be given at the most inclusive party of the year on 3rd October in London. Compered again by the irrepressible Mik Scarlet broadcaster and access consultant, with the help of BBS Founder Fiona Jarvis. There will be plenty of the ‘criperati’ attending as well as ‘movers and shakers’ from the hospitality, corporate and disability worlds. This year we’re partnering with Bespoke Access and their competition that rewards designers and architects who have visionary ideas on how to improve the design of accessible bedrooms so they become the most coveted in a hotel.

Nominations will be open from 31st March and formally announced at the Bespoke Access Awards at The House of Lords on 18th April. This year there will be a ‘People’s Choice Award’ in addition to the normal categories of:

  • Best Venue in a Listed Building
  • Most Accessible Bar (upmarket & budget)
  • Most Accessible Restaurant (upmarket & budget)
  • Most Accessible Hotel (upmarket and boutique)
  • Best Disabled Loo
  • Most Ludicrous Loo
  • Above & Beyond – for the venue or company who has made a special effort

Nominations close on 30th June so if you have a favourite venue or organisation you want rewarded for their attention to the needs of disabled people, send details by email ( or use the contact us form. We can’t wait to see who may win this year and you can be there too, we’ll be selling tickets from August 2018.

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  1. Ken Meister

    Here Here, it seems ludicrous that in this day and age Michelin star restaurants don’t offer accessibility and washroom facilities for their dis-abled customers. Perhaps it should form part of the criteria for obtaining a Michelin star, wonder how quickly these facilities would suddenly appear?

    1. Fiona Jarvis

      It’s not a criteria at the moment! But they do add whether a place is ‘wheelchair’ accessible but as we know this is not enough detail and can mean anything….Look out for our Access Awards, the BLADES, ceremony 3rd Oct 2018