A BAKERY in the Cotswolds which specialises in wedding cakes week has won a muddy stiletto award. 

Cotswold Baking Ltd has won the award after being voted the best local food and drink producer in North Oxfordshire.

The company which specialises in wedding cakes is based in Swerford near Chipping Norton and produces cakes and tray bakes for 20 different events and businesses across the Cotswolds.

It also make cakes and desserts ordered by individuals.

Paul Barlow-Heal director and co-founder of Cotswold Baking Ltd said: "You never expect to win.

"We were nominated a few years ago and made it to the final but we lost.

"It's definitely pleasing to win this year, it's great to see that people love what we do and it's nice for me and my team to get recognition for our hard work."

Mr Barlow-Heal started the company from his home in 2011 and the business has since grown into a unit with two ovens, two sinks and ten tables. 

Mr Barlow-Heal continued: "All of our products are made to order, we don't make products for them to sit in a fridge for three weeks, we don't use preservatives.

"We have a small team that works really well. 

"Because its a busy time of the year for us we have not had a chance to celebrate, but there is an awards evening on June 11."

To win a Muddy Stiletto, businesses must first be nominated by the public. 

The public then votes on their favourite with the top five in each category making the finals.

Over 500,000 people voted in the competition this year.

Mr Barlow-Heal said: "We are still growing at the moment, but its tough because of the horrendous cost of food, chocolate has doubled in price. 

"We are definitely being affected by the cost of living crisis, people are finding it tight and they are feeling the pinch, gone are the days of £25 birthday cakes.

"We now only go to one farmers market a month in Deddington."

Mr Barlow-Heal has been a pastry chef all of his life and started working in a bakery at the age of 14.

He moved to Oxfordshire with his wife in 2000 to run The Falkland Arms in Great Tew.