Rising Stars and Hospitality Heroes
Recognised by Independent Hospitality Guide
The Georgina Campbell Awards – Ireland’s Original Hospitality Awards!
Representatives of the very best in Irish hospitality gathered at Bord Bia in Dublin today, for the announcement of the 2017 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. These are Ireland’s longest-running food and hospitality awards, and highly respected by the industry.
Every year Georgina Campbell and her team of experienced assessors comb the country’s hotels, country houses, guesthouses, restaurants, pubs, cafés and speciality food shops seeking out the best food and hospitality experiences for readers of The Guide (‘the glovebox bible’) and followers of the very successful website, www.ireland-guide.com. Speaking about the ongoing search for excellence, Ms Campbell said, “Through our programme of anonymous assessment we’re always keeping a sharp eye out for those exceptional establishments which are right on top of their game and going the extra mile for customers. Once again this year, we have found plenty of new ones worthy of recommendation, especially in urban areas, and it is always exciting to see newcomers to the hospitality industry who understand the importance of standards and want visitors – domestic and from abroad – to enjoy Irish food and hospitality at its best. What we seek is not perfection but real food and hospitality with real heart, and we’re finding it in clusters of excellence all over the country.
PUB OF THE YEAR 2017 WINNER: O’Dowd’s of Roundstone, Roundstone, Co Galway
While Irish pubs in general are going through a challenging time, the pub experience remains one of the highlights of a visit to this country for visitors from abroad, who love the unique atmosphere and the craic. And as long as there are family run pubs as good as this one, the future of the Irish pub is assured.
In a prominent position overlooking Roundstone harbour, in Connemara, O‘Dowds is a famous fourth generation family-run pub. A classic of its type, it’s not just delighting summer visitors but serving the local community all year – and, importantly, we are told on the menu, ‘supporting directly up to 20 jobs in a small village’. Honouring tradition while also keeping up with the times, a sign outside the adjacent café lays out an inclusive stall: advertising SEAFOOD, MEAT, VEGETARIAN & VEGAN DISHES, it offers everything from Irish Breakfast, homemade soup and seafood chowder, to cakes, pastries, scones, pizza & salads. The old bar is thankfully unreconstructed but, while much loved, more than a nod to the modern world is allowed here too: the Wifi password, for example, is prominently displayed at the bottom of a wide ranging Specials menu ranging from Seaweed hummus (‘home-made using locally supplied dillisk, served with nori bread & olive oil) and the Vegan friendly Savoury Rice with Sea Veg (local dillisk, nori sea lettuce, with red peppers & mushrooms). O’Dowds also supplied the best seafood platter we had this season – so good in fact that nobody remembered to photograph it! The drinks list includes an informative collection of Irish craft beers and cider alongside the wines and, tellingly, the supplier list credits no less than eight fish and seafood suppliers, along with others. We are even told that all organic waste at this friendly and mindfully operated pub is composted. An evolving classic.