Ireland Guide

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2012 Award Winners

  • Neven Maguire - MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co Cavan
    A recently introduced award, in recognition of the special contribution made by exceptional individuals in Irish hospitality Awards like this are usually associated with people of ‘mature ...
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    • Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess, Connemara, Co Galway
      A winter visit to our Hotel of the Year confirmed all of our previous good feelings about this wonderful place, and set the benchmark against which the season’s visits were judged – in ...
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      • Restaurant FortyOne at Residence, Dublin 2
        Although the new smart-casual dining is an interesting emerging trend, anyone who doubts that fine dining is alive and well should visit our Restaurant of the Year. This year’s shortlist pro ...
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        • Aidan McGrath - Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare
          Interesting developments are taking place in that other-worldly place inhabited by top chefs, many of whom have thrown in the towel when it comes to cheffy extravagances (think foams and smokes). ...
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          • Mary Anns Bar & Restaurant - Castletownshend, Co Cork
            The decision to ban the term ’gastropub’ generated acres of publicity for a UK food guide a few weeks ago – interesting, we thought, as we’ve never allowed it (unless it&rs ...
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            • Farmgate Cafe - Cork City
              “Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and ...
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              • Ballyfin House, Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois
                This is always one of our most hotly-contested wards – by which I mean that the ‘short list’ is anything but - and how could it be otherwise when the establishments under conside ...
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                • Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin 1
                  There has been plenty of hype about star chefs in recent years but, without the support of a good front of house team, the work done in the kitchen is doomed to disappoint – and the same app ...
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                  • Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork
                    Almost three years into the recession, the budgetary pressures that establishments are experiencing is really beginning to show on premises of all types and sizes, with lack of maintenance and ref ...
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                    • Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork
                      It may seem strange for something as basic as a Good Cooking Award to go to an establishment that has been festooned with awards for every aspect of its business over many years – but that i ...
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                      • Country Choice, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
                        The Guide has always championed the best of Irish produce. It’s the philosophy behind our food recommendations and the Natural Food Award has emphasised this for many years, by specifically ...
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                        • 'VM' Restaurant, Viewmount House, Longford
                          Everywhere we have travelled this year the story has been the same: while leisure business may be up and down according to variables such as shock-horror economic stories and fluctuating currency ...
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                          • The Olde Post Inn, Cloverhill, Co Cavan
                            Irish diners place a high premium on atmosphere – often rating it even above the quality of food when choosing where to eat out – but our next award-winner, although certainly atmosphe ...
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                            • Mary O'Connor, Derrynane Hotel, Caherdaniel, Co Kerry
                              We have perhaps got a little paranoid about how others see us of late, but each time a visitor satisfaction survey is published the results are the same, with Ireland’s wonderful scenery (s ...
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                              • The Cottage Restaurant - Jamestown, Co Leitrim
                                Since 1999 GCGuides has produced an independent guide to the best places to eat & drink along Ireland’s waterways and, three years ago, we decided to introduce a Taste of the Waterways A ...
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                                • The BrookLodge & Wells Spa, Macreddin, Co Wicklow
                                  Food tourism and agriculture may be the hot white hopes for recessionary Ireland, but many of our best establishments are identifying other equally attractive niche markets and, along with several ...
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                                  • No.1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa - Limerick City
                                    This is the only category of our awards for which we invite applications – interested establishments are asked to submit their wine lists for consideration, and they are then judged together ...
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                                    • Cava Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar - Galway City
                                      There has been an ‘Ethnic Restaurant’ category in our awards since their inception in the early ‘90s and, until now, the title has been interpreted as ‘oriental’. But ...
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                                      • The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro - Bangor, Co Down
                                        The leading restaurants in major cities, and their chefs, tend to hog the spotlight at awards and, while the size of the population means more top rank establishments to choose from, excellence is ...
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                                        • Builin Blasta - Spiddal, Co Galway
                                          A partner to the casual dining award that we introduced last year, we wanted to give recognition to the best of those valuable all-day operations – usually small and owner-run – which ...
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                                          • Westport Woods Hotel - Westport County Mayo Ireland
                                            Family-friendliness is increasingly important in Irish hospitality as more people prefer to choose the simplicity, relaxation and - if chosen wisely - better value, that airport-free home holidays ...
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                                            • Hotel Dunloe Castle - Killarney, Co Kerry
                                              Innovation is the name of the game at the moment, with everyone trying to find new ways to attract business. There are many interesting ideas coming up but, as a country, we’re missing a tri ...
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                                              • The Mill Restaurant - Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal
                                                Everyone loves the idea of a hideaway, and this is one of our most popular awards. Whether it’s the establishments itself which offers that sense of privacy and seclusion, or its location, t ...
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                                                • Coopershill House, Riverstown, Co Sligo
                                                  The question of ecological damage caused by tourism has been taxing many a mind of late, and we at GCGuides are no exceptions. When requesting factual data from recommended establishments we ask a ...
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                                                  • Clonalis House - Castlerea, Co Roscommon
                                                    It’s great that we have a Taoiseach from the North-West, it really raises the profile of a fantastic part of the country that – except for a few key destinations, such as Westport &nda ...
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                                                    • Ariel House - Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
                                                      Competing with cut price hotels is no joke for the owners of guesthouses and B&Bs and, with its high profile ‘temporary’ hotels offering below-cost accommodation, Ballsbridge must ...
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                                                      • Powersfield House - Dungarvan, Co Waterford
                                                        What makes a great B&B? The best are lovely, friendly places to stay, with comfort, good food and interested hosts who anticipate their guests’ needs yet give them space – and who ...
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                                                        • Coolanowle Country House - Ballickmoyler, Co Carlow
                                                          For many people – especially families who live in cities – an Irish farm stay is just about the most idyllic holiday imaginable. And you won’t do better than this one, Coolan ...
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                                                            • - National Winner
                                                              Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork
                                                              We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this is true in hospitality as well as ‘real life’. It’s an area that can be - and often is - a USP, both for ...
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                                                              • - Hotel Breakfast
                                                                The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro - Bangor, Co Down
                                                                Hotel breakfasts are often the least enjoyable part of a stay – not so at a growing number of ‘breakfast aware’ hotels, including this pleasing waterside spot where each day&rsqu ...
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                                                                • - Country House Breakfast
                                                                  Ballymaloe House - Shanagarry, Co Cork
                                                                  Country houses often make a speciality of breakfast, and this year’s winner in this category are probably responsible for establishing a lot of the best breakfast traditions that we now en ...
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                                                                  • - Guesthouse Breakfast
                                                                    Ariel House - Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
                                                                    Great hospitality and outstanding breakfasts go hand in hand, so it is not surprising that the first meal of the day should be a treat at this welcoming and well-run guesthouse. Breakfast in A ...
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                                                                    • - B&B Breakfast
                                                                      Powersfield House - Dungarvan, Co Waterford
                                                                      The wise B&B owner makes a big deal out of breakfast these days – and, although there are plenty of other reasons people love staying at this one, the delicious and sociable way that eac ...
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