On-trade

Hospitality excellence honoured at Georgina Campbell Awards

Pub of the Year Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant Castletownshend, Co Cork, was among the award-winners recently at the announcement of the 2012 Georgina Campbell Awards.

Associated with the Georgina Campbell’s Ireland independent hospitality guides and Ireland’s most popular independent hospitality and travel website www.ireland-guide.com, Ireland’s longest-running hospitality accolades are completely independent. Unlike most other award schemes, they’re not commercially-driven and in no way affiliated with trade associations or marketing groups; there’s no charge to establishments for recommendation or for any element of the awards process.

In yet another challenging year for the hospitality sector, such accolades also set a benchmark for others in the industry who are determined to achieve a similar level of excellence, pointed out Georgina Campbell at the awards.

Every year Georgina and her team of experienced assessors comb the country’s hotels, country houses, guesthouses, restaurants, pubs and cafés, seeking out the best consumer experiences for readers of The Guide – ‘the glovebox bible’ – and increasingly, for followers of the very successful website.
A new printed Guide, to accompany the website, is planned.

“We have maintained our rigorous programme of anonymous assessment visits throughout the season as usual and with ‘the harvest in’, the reports are gradually going through directly to the website, Ireland-guide.com. As always, we’ve kept a sharp eye out for those exceptional establishments which are right on top of their game and going the extra mile for customers – and we have found a surprising number of new establishments worthy of recommendation this year,” she stated.

“The economic crisis is really biting now and the twin pressures of non-functioning banks and unrelenting consumer demand for unrealistically low prices are driving many viable long-established businesses to the wall. But at least the hospitality industry – and its vital underpinning foundation, agriculture – is now being given the credit that is long overdue and it’s predicted that ‘tourism and food’ will be key to renewed growth.

“They – and the farmers, fishermen, growers and artisan producers who supply their kitchens – represent the best of Irish hospitality and its future.”
She stressed that these awards are not just a random selection of outstanding establishments.
“As a group they are of the highest calibre and offer a snapshot of the very best of hospitality across the country, demonstrating its strengths and showing how good food and hospitality can lead the way forward to a better future for all.”

Commenting further on this year’s Awards, Georgina said, “The exceptional establishments here today represent many dozens of like-minded businesses – and to reflect the changing trends in Irish hospitality, we have added some new categories this year. Mid-range dining is becoming increasingly relevant as we can all afford less treat nights out; our awards reflect that with, among others, the upgrading of the Casual Dining Award and introduction of a Café of the Year award. Noticing signs of slipping standards – mainly due to cutbacks and staff shortages – some new ‘back to basics’ awards (Good Housekeeping; Good Cooking; Outstanding Service) emphasise the importance of getting the simple things right and the very highest calibre award winners have been selected to set a benchmark for excellence in these important areas while Sunday Lunch of the Year recognises the special significance of family outings and events like birthdays and anniversaries in these cash-strapped times. But pundits who have been predicting the demise of fine dining lately will see that not only is it far from finished, it is still developing.”

Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Hospitality Awards 2012

GEORGINA CAMPBELL AWARD 2012 (for Outstanding Contribution to the hospitality industry)
Neven Maguire, MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co Cavan

HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2012
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Recess, Co Galway

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2012
Restaurant FortyOne at Residence, 41 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

CHEF OF THE YEAR 2012
Aidan McGrath, Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare

PUB OF THE YEAR 2012
Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant, Castletownshend, Co Cork

“JUST ASK” RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR AWARD 2012 sponsored by Bord Bia
Farmgate Café, English Market, Cork

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2012
Ballyfin, Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois

OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD 2012
Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING AWARD 2012
Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork

GOOD COOKING AWARD 2012
Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork

NATURAL FOOD AWARD 2012
Peter & Mary Ward, Country Choice, Nenagh, Co Tipperary

ATMOSPHERIC RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2012
The Olde Post Inn, Cloverhill, Co Cavan

SUNDAY LUNCH OF THE YEAR AWARD 2012
‘VM’ Restaurant, Viewmount House, Longford

BUSINESS HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2012
The BrookLodge & Wells Spa, Macreddin, Co Wicklow

WINE AWARD OF THE YEAR 2012
No. 1, Pery Square, Limerick

HOST OF THE YEAR 2012
Mary O’Connor, Derrynane Hotel, Caherdaniel, Co Kerry

ETHNIC RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2012
Cava Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar, Galway

CASUAL DINING AWARD 2012
The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro, Bangor, Co Down

CAFÉ OF THE YEAR 2012
Builín Blasta Café, Spiddal, Co Galway

GREEN IRELAND HOSPITALITY AWARD 2012
Coopershill House, Riverstown, Co Sligo

PET FRIENDLY HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2012
Hotel Dunloe, Castle Killarney, Co Kerry

FAMILY FRIENDLY HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2012
Westport Woods Hotel, Westport, Co Mayo

TASTE OF THE WATERWAYS AWARD 2012
The Cottage Restaurant, Jamestown, Co Leitrim

HIDEAWAY OF THE YEAR 2012
The Mill Restaurant, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal

COUNTRY HOUSE OF THE YEAR 2012
Clonalis House, Castlerea, Co Roscommon

GUESTHOUSE OF THE YEAR 2012
Ariel House, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

B&B OF THE YEAR 2012
Powersfield House, Dungarvan, Co Waterford

FARMHOUSE OF THE YEAR 2012
Coolanowle Country House, Ballickmoyler, Co Carlow.

Sign up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's Free