Belfast Telegraph

Champagne is placed on ice for Pub of the Year Awards showdown

By Rachel Martin

Finalists for the 2015 Ulster Pub of the Year Awards have been revealed.

This year's awards are said to be the most hotly contested to date with a record number of entries from pubs, hotels and restaurants.

The winners of the 14 awards will be revealed at a gala night hosted by radio presenter Pete Snodden at La Mon Hotel and Country Club on Wednesday, November 11.

Olga Walls, chair of Hospitality Ulster said: "We are lucky to have world class hospitality venues on our doorstep and these awards will recognise and reward those businesses that are setting industry standards with their customer offering, service and innovations."

With community involvement continuing to be an important focus for the local hospitality industry, 2015 also welcomes three commitment to food awards which will recognise the growing importance of locally sourced food within Northern Ireland's best pubs, hotels and restaurants.

Also new this year are three Pub of the Year Awards recognising the best pubs and bars in rural, urban and city locations. This year's best hotel bar category will also feature separate sections for the best hotel bars.

All entries, along with public nominations from the Best Barperson and the Industry Legend Awards are vetted and judged by an independent panel comprised of industry experts, before being mystery shopped to ensure they meet industry standards and best practice guidelines.

Included on this year's judging panel are mentalist and hospitality expert, David Meade; Hugh Black, president of the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce; Beannchor Group managing director, Bill Wolsey; Worldwide drinks industry veterans, Maire Campbell (formerly of Coca-Cola); Padraig Gribben, chief executive of Vintners Federation Ireland; Terry Loughins (formerly of Diageo) and Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association.

Belfast Telegraph