It’s a Christmas window wonderland

GLASS ACT: The Big Reveal’s best festive window for 2023 was announced on Saturday as Kumquat’s Polar Express theme

The winner of this year’s Big Reveal Window Display competition has been announced. Over 2,100 voters chose their favourite retail and hospitality festive window displays across the three areas of The Big Reveal. Many of the local traders flexed their creative muscles and created fantastic festive displays, but there could only be one overall winner.

Receiving the highest number of votes across the entire town, this year’s winner is the ‘modern Asian dining’ restaurant, Kumquat, located on The Pantiles.

Kumquat owners, Virginia and Alex told the Times they were ‘thankful’ for everyone who voted. They also won last year’s contest.

“Thank you so much for RTW together, and The Big Reveal for organising this competition. We’d also like to thank Maddisons Residential, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, the Times, SO magazine, Targetfollow, local blogger Bibi Roy and all our lovely customers who always support Kumquat. This is our second year winning this competition, and we feel very grateful and honoured to win again this year.

“We just feel so lucky to be part of the Tunbridge Wells community, and it is so nice that the public can see our hard work.”

After the unveiling of their festive window, the restaurant shared the story behind their design on their social media pages.

They said: “It’s all about the magical changes that have happened and will continue to happen at our restaurant. There is inspiration from future designs incorporated into the window, a magic book, and our version of the Polar Express.

“The design is not just digital, there is a lot of handmade origami. Origami is a traditional Asian skill that incorporates meditation and creativity. A five-year-old-girl, little Sophie, helped us to add the finishing touches to the window. Everything in the window is so meaningful for us and we put a lot of thought into it.”

The window display winners of each shopping district were Kumquat (The Pantiles), London Nail Company (Middle of Town), pictured above, and Manic Ceramix (Top of Town). This year, there were two new awards for the best community focus and the most creative window which were given to estate agents Your Move (left) for their display of artwork from Langton Green Primary School and Eggs Eleven, respectively.

The three first-place winners have all received trophies to keep in recognition of their amazing achievements. In addition, Kumquat were also presented with the sought-after Overall Winner Trophy, which will subsequently get passed on next year.

Deborah Richards, Founding Partner of Maddisons Residential, the official Big Reveal RTW sponsor, told the Times: “We are so thrilled at Maddisons that the wonderful Big Reveal, which started on The Pantiles two years ago, has now been rolled out to the rest of the town. It’s a stressful time for any business owner taking part, as you build your window display without actually being able to look at it until the paper is pulled back and the huge crowd hopefully gasps with joy.”

Alex Green, CEO of RTW Together BID, which organised the event, added: “We have been blown away by the creativity of the window displays and the reaction from the public has been brilliant with over 3,000 visitors on the reveal nights and 2,100 votes cast.

“This was the first year where we took the event out across the breadth of the town, and already traders are talking of this becoming one of Tunbridge Wells’ treasured festive events.”

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