The winners of the Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards 2017 were announced yesterday. The award’s aim to celebrate one of the most underrated aspects of the Irish food industry, the traditional Irish breakfast.Despite the focus on traditional Irish, the rise in popularity of American style brunch was reflected this year with the addition of a new category.
Georgina Campbell is president of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild and the awards are run in association with Fáilte Ireland.
The award’s main focus was on the traditional Irish breakfast with the judges criteria being “a flavoursome rendition of the traditional plate, together with wholesome accompaniments including traditional Irish soda bread and good Irish butter”.Providers of standout versions of the most important meal of the day were recognised in various categories including country houses, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and three-, four- and five-star hotels.
At the highest end of the scale, The Merrion hotel in Dublin was awarded for its “range, consistency and seamless service”, with its baked goods, charcuterie board “showcasing both Irish and international meats and artisan cheeses”, and house-blend coffee, singled out for mention.
The award for best four-star hotel breakfast was scooped by Ballynahinch Castle in Co Galway, where “breakfast is a high point of the experience”, according to the judging panel, with hotel’s own rare breed pork forming part of their extensive offering. Gougane Barra hotel in Co Cork took the three-star honours, with praise for “the breakfast meats from Twomey’s craft butchers” and the proprietor’s “rich walnut and treacle bread”. Ballymaloe Country House in Co Cork also triumphed, with the judges noting their emphasis on “fresh, local and seasonal”.
The best B&B breakfast in Ireland can be found at Corrib House Tea Rooms & Guest Accommodation in Galway, according to the judges, who noted the offering of Kilbeggan porridge with banana and cinnamon, and buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, in addition to the full Irish.
Full list of winners-
Five-star hotel: The Merrion, Dublin
Highly commended: Culloden Estate & Spa, Belfast and The Europe Hotel & Resort, Killarney
Four-star hotel: Ballynahinch Castle, Recess, Co Galway
Highly commended: The Mustard Seed, Ballingarry and Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena
Three-star hotel: Gougane Barra Hotel, Macroom, Co Cork
Highly commended: Killeen House Hotel, Killarney and Raheen House Hotel, Clonmel
Country House: Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork
Highly commended: Roundwood House, Mountrath and Rathmullan House, Co Donegal
Guest House: Newforge House, Magheralin, Co Down
Highly commended: MacNean House, Blacklion and Inch House, Thurles
B&B: Corrib House, Galway
Highly commended: Ballinwillin House, Mitchelstown and The Mill Restaurant & Accommodation, Dunfanaghy
Welcome Standard: Burren Glamping, Kilfenora, Co Clare
Highly commended: Bervie, Achill Island and The Tannery, Dungarvan
Visitor Attraction: Overends at Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin
Highly commended: Native by Yellow Door at the MAC, Belfast and Courtyard Café, Birr Castle, Co Offaly
Brunch: Rua, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Highly commended: Knox, Sligo and Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen, Dublin
Irish breakfast foods
Meats: O’Neill’s dry cure bacon
Fish: Burren Smokehouse smoked salmon
Cereals: Flahavan’s Oats
Dairy: Clandeboye Estate yoghurt