Who Won What at the ACT Australian Hotels Association Awards 2013

by The Editor

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Late night members of the ACT Chapter of the Australian Hotels Association gathered at Hotel Realm to for the 2013 night of annual back-slapping.  It’s always a curious one to watch to see who’s awarded, who’s not and who was probably due. So, who were the evening’s winners and grinners?

According to the Twitter feed, the room was getting pretty rowdy by around 8.30pm, which is pretty much on cue for an event that throws Canberra’s extroverts and egos into the same room with an endless supply of booze. Seasoned punters know it’s not a good idea to queue for a toilet cubicle between main course and dessert, but at least people tend to enter two or three at a time.

You may not agree with some of the awards below, but keep in mind it is a requirement to be a member of the Australian Hotels Association to be nominated.

Best Cocktail Bar: Knightsbridge Penthouse.

Hard to argue with this one.  ‘Knighty’ has maintained a passion of fine drinks, fine art and fine tunes, and serves up all three woth a healthy dose of fun.  As one of the pioneers of the Braddon scene, the grand old girl has barely skipped a beat over the last eight years.

Best wine list: Pulp Kitchen.

We really need to go back. Regular diners rave about this Ainslie stalwart, but we’ve not been there for years.

Best restaurant: Taze Mediterranean Cuisine

A big call. Sure, Taze is delicious, but is this really the best restaurant in Canberra? Taze deserves to be proud (it’s great), however a number of venues may have their noses somewhat out of joint on this one.

Best Prestigious Restaurant: Sage Dining Rooms

Well, yep. Could have a great run for their money next year though, if EightySix is eligible and consistent.

Best Cafe Restaurant: Caphs Cafe

A chicken schnitzel with a toothpick flag stuck in it will never grow old in our book. A Canberra icon.

Image: Twitter.com/minkyminky

Image: Twitter.com/minkyminky

Best Bar Presentation and Service: Knightsbridge Penthouse

Aaargh! Greedy buggers!  Mind you, our ‘old-fashioned’ made with Matusalem rum from Saturday night was deeee-licious! Thanks Pete!

Best Late Night Entertainment Venue: Hippo Lounge Bar

How wonderful is that balcony that arrived for New Year 2013? Hippo now has a feeling of new opulence, with a nod to days of old in the far east, along with glamourous hostesses and shady opium dealers. It’s a reinvention of an old friend and we love it.

Best Local: Edgar’s Inn

Is there anything better than sitting out in the warm sun at Edgars with a glass of wine or cider while watching the Ainslie locals walk their giant dogs? Edgars feels as though it has been on the corner there for about fifty years rather than not even fifteen. Suburban perfection.

Best Pub Bistro Food: Playground Martini and Tapas Bar

“Number 22, your pigs’ cheek schnitzels, caramelised apple with braised fennel are ready to be collected form the counter.” Well, not really, but, um….bistro? Really?

So there you have it.  You can read the entire list over at the ACT AHA’s website.  Otherwise, look out for a collection of shiny, framed certificates to a bar or restaurant near you.