Shed of the Year Winner is a 1970s-Inspired Cocktail Bar

The winner of the Readersheds Shed of the Year 2021 is Creme de Menthe, a mint green entry by social media influencer Danielle Zarb-Cousin.

The 1970s-inspired cocktail bar fought off stiff competition from a bra-fitting boutique, a fairytale castle, and 300 other entries to take the title, wicch is sponsored by outdoor paint brand Cuprinol.

Creme de Menthe is decorated in ’70s style, with rattan seating and a psychedelic bar cart.

Danielle won £1,000, shed care products, and a plaque. The 29-year-old from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, transformed a rundown old brown shed into a retro bar complete with seating and orange interior, promoted by a split with her fiance, former Love Island star Jonny Mitchell, last year. She said: ‘I went through a bad time with the break-up … building the shed became a focus in a time of chaos. Moving back in with my parents for lockdown was not ideal and I needed my own space, so (once built) it was a place I could go and write and not be disturbed.”

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Creme de Menthe also won in the hotly contested Pub/Entertainment category, as voted by readers of the website www.readersheds.co.uk.

This year the contest included seven categories and more entries – 331 – than ever before.

Joanna van Blommestein, from Faversham in Kent, specialises in helping women post-surgery, such as those with breast cancer, and won the Cabin/Summerhouse category with her bra-fitting boutique.

Relaxing

The 33-year-old said: “Lots of people don’t really enjoy bra fittings… it can be quite overwhelming or quite daunting. I just wanted to make it a lovely relaxing, stress-free place.”

John Williams’ pop-up pub shed Bungy’s Backyard Bar in Plymouth, Devon, won the Unexpected category, while Mark Campbell, from Wingerworth in Derbyshire, won the Lockdown category by building a fairytale-inspired castle for his granddaughter.

Rosemary Hoult with her shed The Hideaway in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, won the Nature’s Haven category for her bird-watching sanctuary, while Ally Scott’s shed The Peculiar Pear in Southampton, Hampshire won the Workshop/Studio category, a space for her to pursue her dream of becoming an artist and signwriter.

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Artist Les Rowe, from New Brighton on the Wirral, took top spot in the budget category with his shed Tranquility Base, a seven-sided refuge using predominantly second-hand materials including stained-glass windows recovered from a synagogue.

Unique

‘I originally created Tranquillity Base because I needed a shed, but because it’s so beautiful and unique I don’t really want to put anything in it,’ he said.

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