Canberra's food & wine scene shines at the AHA Awards

Tuesday 12 July 2016
Nic Crowther's picture
Co Editor
The Shaker

Last night, the beautiful people of Canberra/s hospitality scene gathered at The National Convention Centre for the ACT Australian Hotels Association’s 2016 Awards for Excellence.

It’s a night that not only celebrates the energy and strength of the local bar and restaurant scene, but one that allows its hard-working staff to let their hair down and celebrate a night off and get frocked up for a night out with their peers.

More than 30 sponsored Awards were presented including Best Deluxe (5-star) Hotel, Best Cocktail Bar and Best Restaurant as well as Awards including the Best Local and Best Sporting Venue.

 

 

Canberra’s newest and most popular licensed bars, restaurants, nightclubs and accommodation hotels were celebrated at the 2016 Australian Hotels Association (AHA) ACT Hospitality Awards tonight.

Following a record number of entries in the Awards, more than 440 industry, political and hospitality leaders attended the black-tie event to honour the outstanding achievements of ACT hospitality businesses and employees.

More than 30 sponsored Awards were presented including Best Deluxe (5-star) Hotel, Best Cocktail Bar and Best Restaurant as well as Awards including the Best Local and Best Sporting Venue.

 

 

Hosted by ABC Political Reporter Anna Henderson, the AHA ACT’s ‘Night of Nights’ recognised local hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, cafés and their employees for outstanding hospitality achievements, success and service.

 

 

AHA ACT General Manager Jo Broad said this year’s event once again celebrated innovative newcomers in new entertainment precincts as well as well-established venues.

“From a popular established Manuka gastro-bar to a unique, five-star hotel and a world-class wildlife retreat, this year’s winners showcased innovation and progression across the ACT’s hospitality sector,” Ms Broad said.

The hotel, hospitality and tourism sector is vital to the ACT’s economy and it will become even more so when we see the introduction of international flights in September.

 

 

The big winner on the night was IHG, which scooped the pool with six awards across Crowne Plaza and the National Convention Centre. Best cocktail Bar was a tie between Molly and new-kid-on-the-block, Bar Rochford.

“Competition was incredibly tough this year, particularly given the sheer number of entries, which indicates how much the industry has grown and developed over the last few years” Ms Broad said.

Two major awards were also given to talented industry leaders:  AHA ACT’s John Press Award was won by Brian Smith from Hopscotch and Young & Frisky while Tarn Morrow from QT Canberra was crowned 2016 Member of the Year.

 

 

Best Restaurant went to Pomegranate in Kingston. For those that have enjoyed the Turkish cuisine of Erkin Esen, to say this is Canberra’s best-kept secret would not be an overstatement.

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