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GEORGINA CAMPBELL'S IRELAND HOSPITALITY AWARDS 2012

True Grit - Irish Hospitality Leaders Show The Way Forward

At the 2012 Georgina Campbell Awards

Georgina Campbell Awards 2012Representatives of the very best in Irish hospitality gathered at Bord Bia in Dublin today Tuesday 11th October, for the announcement of the 2012 Georgina Campbell Awards, associated with the respected 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, the Georgina Campbell Awards are completely independent. Unlike most other award schemes, they are not commercially driven and in no way affiliated with trade associations or marketing groups; there is no charge to establishments for recommendation or any element of the awards process. It is this independence which has earned them special respect in the industry, and public trust.

Georgina Campbell Awards 2012In yet another challenging year for the hospitality sector, accolades from a respected independent guide are not only a source of encouragement - and very good for winners’ business - but also set a benchmark for others in the industry who are determined to achieve a similar level of excellence.

Although most closely associated with good food, the Guide’s accommodation recommendations are equally respected, and it should be noted that the Guide does not support unregistered accommodation; only Approved (Failte Ireland) accommodation is considered for recommendation.

Every year Georgina Campbell 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, www.ireland-guide.com.

Georgina Campbell Awards 2012A new printed Guide, to accompany the website, is planned; meanwhile, Ms Campbell emphasised that “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.

Georgina Campbell - Georgina Campbell Awards 2012Commenting on the Awards, Georgina Campbell said, “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. And the crisis has acted as a catalyst, separating the many who have opted for the ‘race to the bottom’ from the (relatively) few who have chosen the hard road of sticking to their principles of quality, and making superhuman efforts to give their customers real value at a fair price. They – and the farmers, fishermen, growers and artisan producers who supply their kitchens – represent the best of Irish hospitality, and its future, and they are the giants of the hospitality industry who are represented here today. 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.

Top award winners on the day included:

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Recess Co Galway (Hotel of the Year);
Restaurant FortyOne at Residence Dublin (Restaurant of the Year);
Aidan McGrath Wild Honey Inn Lisdoonvarna Co Clare (Chef of the Year);
Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant Castletownshend Co Cork (Pub of the Year);
Neven Maguire MacNean House & Restaurant Blacklion Co Cavan (Georgina Campbell Award, for special contribution to Irish hospitality).

Georgina Campbell Awards 2012Full list of awards with citations can be found here

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 fining dining lately will see that, not only is it far from finished, it is still developing - and our Restaurant of the Year is a perfect example of the new, more relaxed style.”

Georgina Campbell Awards 2012Georgina Campbell Guides are grateful to Bord Bia, sponsors of the “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Year Award, who kindly hosted the event. Thanks also to Fáilte Ireland for their support, and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, sponsors of the BIM Seafood Circle Awards (due to be presented separately).

Full list of awards with citations can be found here

Full list of awards below:

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


IRISH BREAKFAST AWARDS 2012

NATIONAL WINNER
Ballymaloe House Shanagarry Co Cork


Hotel Breakfast
Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro Bangor Co Down

Country House Breakfast
Ballymaloe House Shanagarry Co Cork

Guesthouse Breakfast
Ariel House Ballsbridge Dublin 4

B&B Breakfast
Powersfield House Dungarvan Co Waterford


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