Era of over-priced dining now over, says Campbell


ONLY RESTAURANTS and hotels offering good value for money will survive the economic downturn, food guide publisher Georgina Campbell has warned.

However, training standards and quality of food and service should not be sacrificed in an attempt to cut costs.

"Since the credit crunch started to bite, stiff competition is forcing many establishments to re-evaluate their offerings, to the benefit of guests."

Ms Campbell was speaking at the launch of the 11th edition of Georgina Campbell's Ireland - The Guide and awards at Bord Bia headquarters in Dublin.

"Following a decade of unprecedented growth and prosperity we in Ireland, like the rest of the world, are facing a sharp reality check."

She said all hotels and restaurants would be fighting to stay in business as people had less money to spend on eating out and taking breaks.

"But it would be a huge mistake to make the price of everything the bottom line," she warned.

"The silver lining to this particular cloud will be found in greater value for money for hard-pressed consumers - a big plus in a country berated for being expensive."

The Guide selects Richard Corrigan, of Bentley's Oyster Bar Grill, Dublin as chef of the year, describing him as "no consultant, but a committed proprietor and executive chef who spends a significant amount of time in his Dublin kitchen"

Restaurant of the year is the Pearl Brasserie, Dublin 2, offering "an exceptional dining experience and great value for money too"

Dromoland Castle, Co Clare, "a beacon of excellence in the wonderful West of Ireland", is named as hotel of the year.

Balloo House, Killinchy, Co Down earns the title of pub of the year for its "lovely relaxed ambience and outstanding food at very reasonable prices"

Winners: where the awards went

Hotel of the year: Dromoland Castle, Co Clare.

Restaurant of the year: Pearl Brasserie, Dublin 2.

Chef of the year: Richard Corrigan, Bentley's Oyster Bar Grill, Dublin.

Pub of the year: Balloo House, Killinchy, Co Down.


Fresh ingredients: The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, Ballingarry, Co Limerick.

Seafood restaurant: O'Connors, Bantry, Co Cork.

Seafood bar: The Lobster Pot, Carne, Co Wexford.

Food Extra award: Longueville House, Mallow, Co Cork.

Natural Food: Rathmullan House, Rathmullan, Co Donegal.

Hideaway: Carrig House, Caragh Lake, Co Kerry.

Hospitality: The Oarsman, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Wine: The Twelve, Barna, Co Galway.

Host: John Moriarty, Lord Baker's, Dingle, Co Kerry.

Business hotel: Kingsley Hotel, Cork city.

Family friendly: Renvyle House Hotel, Connemara, Co Galway.

Ethnic: Jaipur Group, Dublin and Wicklow.

Atmosphere: Chez Hans, Cashel, Co Tipperary.

Newcomer: Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford.

Country House: Ballyvolane House, Fermoy, Co Cork.

Guest House: Ard na Bréatha, Donegal town.

BB: Heron's Rest, Galway city.

Farmhouse: Flemingstown House, Kilmallock, Co Limerick.

Breakfast: Lisloughrey Lodge, Cong, Co Mayo.