Tonight, QT Hotel Canberra played host to the 2014 Australian Hotels Association’s Awards for Excellence.
Always held on Monday night (in reflection of the ‘weekend’ for most of those gathered in the room) the AHA Awards are a fantastic opportunity for those in the hospitality industry to get together, celebrate their efforts across the previous 12 months, and generally let their hair down.
Hosted again by David Lipson from Sky News, the well-dressed crowd was generous in its recognition of the winners. Here are some of headline awards, with a full list printed below.
Parlour Wine Room is definitely back on the scene, claiming the award for Best Wine List in its first year since re-opening the doors. With some absolutely brilliant Spanish varieties and a keen focus on local wineries, there is simply nothing better than sitting in one of Parlour’s comfortable lounges and letting the hours slide by with a few stunning glasses from the leather-bound menu.
Sister-venue Knightsbridge Penthouse has been operating for 10 years and – much like Parlour’s wines – seems to get better with age. These days, they are turning on fantastic impromptu parties thanks to being a late-night favourite among Canberra’s hospitality crews.
That’s not all. Knightsbridge has re-invented the way it does cocktails by almost eliminating the menu altogether. Just have a chat with the bartenders and let them put something together for you. Little wonder then that Knightsbridge Penthouse cleaned up with Best Late Night Venue and Best Cocktail Bar.
Best Restaurant went to the brave lads who originally planted the first flag down at Kingston Foreshore. Now, more than one year later, C Dine Bar has cemented its place as a fantastic location for fine seafood and aged-steaks. With the rest of the Foreshore slowly filling up, the best days are ahead for C Dine Bar as the Waterside precinct continues to grow as a dining destination.
Pubs also got a look-in, with Edgar’s Inn being named Best Local. Having grown over the last 13 years as the heart and soul of Ainslie, it’s a well-deserved gong. The beer is cold, the wine-list is friendly and it has never been expensive.
Meanwhile, over on the other side of Northbourne Avenue, Duxton has returned the corner to its previous days of glory with another friendly venue with a deep love of all things sport. Be it The Brumbies, or a day spent hiding out the back and watching a cricket match go through its motions, Duxton is a worthy winner of Best Sporting Entertainment Venue.
The host venue had a successful night as well, with QT Hotel Canberra collecting awards for Best Prestige Restaurant (Capitol Bar & Grill) and Best Cocktail Bar (Lucky’s). If you were told one year ago that so many awards would be won by venues on the Western side of the city, we don’t think you would have agreed!
Finally, congratulations go to Robert Ingram of Muddle Bar who picked up the John Press Award for services to Canberra’s hospitality industry. A long-time proponent of our city and its charms, Robert deserves to be recognised for years and years of relentless promotion of Canberra while training and growing a loyal and grateful army of bartenders and waiters over the years.
Congratulations to all the winners!