The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By TADHG EVANS

SOUTH Kerry’s hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is this week cel­e­brat­ing a pres­ti­gious dou­ble win after both Dromquinna Manor’s Boathouse Bistro; and Quin­lan and Cooke Bou­tique Town­house and Seafood Restau­rant re­turned to Ken­mare and Ca­her­siveen re­spec­tively with tro­phies from one of the big­gest award cer­e­monies in the busi­ness.

The 2018 Ge­orgina Camp­bell Awards are Ire­land’s long­est run­ning food and hos­pi­tal­ity awards and one of the most re­spected prizes for those in the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor.

Pro­pri­etor John Bren­nan and Man­ager James Doyle trav­elled to Bord Bia head­quar­ters in Dublin this week and ac­cepted the ti­tle of “At­mo­spheric Restau­rant of the Year 2018” on be­half of The Boathouse Bistro at Dromquinna Manor, an es­tab­lish­ment praised to the hilt by or­gan­is­ers for the qual­ity of its food, lo­ca­tion, at­mos­phere staff, and suit­abil­ity as a venue for wed­dings and ‘glamp­ing’.

John Bren­nan was un­der­stand­ably de­lighted with the win, but he said it was es­pe­cially pleas­ing to win this par­tic­u­lar award.

“It’s a long-run­ning award, so it’s seen as one of the big­gest you can win,” Mr Bren­nan said.

“But you don’t have to pay or make any con­tri­bu­tion to the or­gan­is­ers, so it’s 100 per cent neu­tral, and that’s what I’ve al­ways liked about these awards in par­tic­u­lar. Ge­orgina [Camp­bell] con­sid­ers ev­ery­one, and the win­ners win on merit.

“We have won Ge­orgina Camp­bell awards be­fore, but they were for the Park Ho­tel [Ken­mare]. This was a first for the Boathouse Bistro in Dromquinna, so we were es­pe­cially thrilled at the re­sult and we hope to cel­e­brate our win of­fi­cially next month!”

An­other Ge­orgina Camp­bell award -win­ner can be vis­ited by tak­ing a spin along the N70 to Ca­her­siveen, as the highly rated Quin­lan and Cooke Bou­tique Town­house and Seafood Restau­rant scooped 2018’s “Out­stand­ing Guest Ex­pe­ri­ence” ti­tle.

The in­de­pen­dent ad­ju­di­ca­tors said they were won over by Kate and An­drew Cooke’s at­mo­spheric bar and restau­rant, its “wel­com­ing fire burn­ing in the enor­mous old fire­place, and ul­tra-fresh lo­cal fish and seafood”. But they re­served par­tic­u­lar credit for Kate and An­drew’s hands-on in­volve­ment, cit­ing it as one of the es­tab­lish­ment’s most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ents.

Kate Cooke spoke to The Ker­ry­man fol­low­ing the win, and she said it was a huge hon­our to be recog­nised by the or­gan­is­ers and Ge­orgina Camp­bell, who is con­sid­ered one of the top food and hos­pi­tal­ity writ­ers in Ire­land.

“We were in­vited up to the awards lunch the week be­fore­hand, so we knew be­fore we went to Dublin that we were going to get a prize; we just weren’t sure which one,” Ms Cooke said.

“It’s a su­per award, one of the big­gest awards you can win, so we were all de­lighted with the news.

“It was an hon­our to be up there get­ting an award along­side all the big names in the in­dus­try, and it’s nice that we’ve been recog­nised for our hard work. I sup­pose my main thanks must go to our loyal cus­tomers who have al­ways sup­ported us and kept us going since we started up.”

ABOVE: James Doyle, John Bren­nan, and Ge­orgina Camp­bell. INSET: Jamie Cooke, Kate Cooke, and Ge­orgina Camp­bell.

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