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22 March 2016c0sk8dBid

Treated like Westbourne royalty – Ben and Ana win VIP Westbourne Experience

The lucky winners of the Westbourne VIP Experience Valentine Competition enjoyed a romance packed weekend in Westbourne Village where they were treated to pampering experiences, new clothes, fizz, chocolates, flowers and books.  Saturday was rounded off with a romantic candlelit three course dinner.

 The Valentine’s competition was run by the Westbourne Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) businesses, in partnership with the Westbourne Business Association (WBA) and had a prize value of £850.  Launched in January, people were asked to nominate their partner and describe in less than 250 words what they loved about them.

 Ben Dilling nominated his wife Ana and described how he loved how strong she was.  He went on to explain that in September 2015, just weeks after their perfect wedding, at the age of 28 she suffered a heart attack during which her heart stopped for a total of 25 minutes.  Ben described how he performed CPR and she was rushed to hospital and was in a coma for 2 days and in intensive care for a week.  Remarkably Ana is now on the road to making a full recovery and will be running the Bournemouth Bay 10k for the British Heart Foundation in April.

 Ben had said in his competition entry, “I love Ana for so many reasons, but particularly for not giving up and for being so strong. We haven’t had much chance to enjoy married life since the wedding, so winning this competition would mean so much to us both.”

 The lucky couple enjoyed a two night stay at the family-owned Riviera Hotel in Alum Chine, where they received champagne and chocolates on their arrival, courtesy of Marks and Spencer’s of Westbourne. On the Saturday of their stay the couple experienced a day packed full of treats. First stop was a visit to Fab Frocks, award winning Special Occasion Boutique, and Baks Exclusive Menswear Store where Ana selected a dress and Ben chose a shirt.

 Next stop was Chocol8 where they hand-picked a selection box of individual chocolates, followed by a visit to Westbourne Book Shop where they chose a book each.  The treats continued with flowers from By Arrangement Florist, gift vouchers from Attico in the arcade, fizz and cakes at Café Rouge in Westbourne, pampering from Aphrodite Beauty Salon, followed by a hair treatment and blow dry at Scissors Salon and a wet shave and hair cut for Ben at Hair For Men.

 Finally the couple enjoyed a romantic, three course, candle lit meal in the quirky and beautiful Plates & Co Restaurant which is located in a former church in Westbourne, the perfect setting to end their day.

 Ben and Ana enthused, “We are so thrilled to have won this fantastic prize and want to say a huge thank you to all the local businesses who participated and donated prizes.  We had the most amazing weekend in Westbourne and thoroughly enjoyed being pampered!  We love Westbourne which is full of unique and independent shops.  We’ve been treated like Westbourne royalty and enjoyed so many lovely treats!”

 Paul Clarke, Coastal BID Chairman and General Manager of the Bournemouth Hallmark West Cliff Hotel advised, “We are thrilled that Ben and Ana had such a great weekend. The competition was a huge success and received over 600 entries and achieved significant interest with entries being received from all over the UK. It’s good to get the Westbourne name out there and ensure that people can discover this unique part of Bournemouth.”