This is where you’ll find Ireland’s best brunch

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    Rua Dillisk Bread IBA 2020
    Rua Dillisk Bread IBA 2020

    Are you going to spend some time in Kilkenny wandering the streets of the Marble City? Be sure to visit Arán Artisan Bakery & Bistro as it’s just been announced the winner in the 2020 Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards in the Best Brunch category!

    Eight businesses across the country were crowned Ireland’s top breakfast venues in categories including 5-star Hotel, B&B and Guest House.

    Now in its fourth year, the Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards celebrate the people and businesses that strive to make the first meal of the day as memorable as any fine dining experience.

    “The great thing about being able to offer a hearty Irish breakfast is that you don’t have to be the biggest to be the best and indeed, can be a venue of any size to compete in this important and competitive arena,” Georgina says. “Serving up a good quality breakfast can have a lasting impression on customers. Doing the simplest of things well is enough to encourage a return visit and build a strong reputation for your establishment, regardless of how many people you can seat.”

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    Aran Artisan Bakery & Bistro, Kilkenny
    Aran Artisan Bakery & Bistro, Kilkenny

    Brunch is here to stay

    30 venues were shortlisted in this category, but the public only voted for one to be the winner: Arán Bakery and Bistro in Kilkenny.

    “Brunch is now part of the fabric of Ireland’s food culture,” special guest and celebrity chef Rachel Allen says. “People truly enjoy the quality and variety of dishes on brunch menus across Ireland. So much, in fact, that brunch is now considered one of the most popular meals for people to enjoy ‘out’.”

    That is why the panel decided that the public should vote for their favourite winner of the Brunch Award.

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    Sustainability

    This year saw the introduction of a special sustainability award. The public had their say and voted for Ireland’s best brunch venue. Five Irish producers were selected for the consistently excellent quality of their produce, which appear on many of the best breakfast menus across Ireland.

    Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo was selected as the inaugural winner of the Sustainability Award. It is recognised for its environmental credentials in relation to impressive sustainable practices including its food sourcing policy and commitment to sourcing the best seasonal ingredients from the west of Ireland.

    “By investing in and supporting good quality local providers you are investing in and supporting a more sustainable Ireland,” Georgina said. “This has become a real priority for the hospitality industry and it’s something that has to be at the top of our collective agenda – permanently.

    “Ethical, sustainable practices are good for business and a commitment to quality produce with a sense of place should be seen as a sound investment rather than an unnecessary cost. It will enhance the reputation of individual hospitality providers, along with Ireland’s reputation and that in itself is progress.”

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    Georgina Campbell & Rachel Allen Irish breakfast Awards. PHOTO: Paul Sherwood
    Georgina Campbell & Rachel Allen Irish breakfast Awards. PHOTO: Paul Sherwood

    Unique

    Rachel says that these awards are unique in that they highlight a meal that is all too often overlooked by business owners as the least important of all their dining options.

    “Not so! Like Georgina, I know what a good quality breakfast can do to enhance the reputation of a business and even a locality,” she says. “But now, more than ever, we have to focus not only on outstanding service, a warm welcome and delicious Irish produce but sustainability has to be at the heart of everything we do in this industry too. And collectively, we can make an enormous contribution to protecting the plant.”

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    The Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards 2020 in association with Fáilte Ireland – winners:

    Irish Producer Awards:

    • Meat: McCarthys of Kanturk, Kanturk, Co Cork
    • Eggs: Belview Eggs, Drogheda, Co Louth
    • Dairy: The Little Milk Company, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
    • Fruit: The Apple Farm, Cahir, Co Tipperary
    • Preserves: Filligans, Glenties, Co Donegal

    Irish Bread Awards:

    • Rua Deli & Café, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

    Irish Breakfast Menu:

    Hotel

    • Winner: Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick
    • Highly Commended: The Twelve Hotel, Barna, Co Galway

    Small Stay 

    • Winner: Lough Bishop House, Collinstown, Co Westmeath
    • Highly Commended: Archways B&B, Rosslare, Co Wexford

    5-Star Hotel

    • Winner: Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
    • Highly Commended: Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, Doonbeg, Co Clare
    • Highly Commended: Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

    4-Star Hotel

    • Winner: Avalon House Hotel, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny
    • Highly Commended: Cliff at Lyons, Celbridge, Co Kildare
    • Highly Commended: Vaughan Lodge, Lahinch, Co Clare

     3-Star Hotel

    • Winner: Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff, Co Cork
    • Highly Commended: The Killeen House Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry
    • Highly Commended: Stauntons on the Green, Dublin

     Country House

    • Winner: Huntington Castle & Gardens, Clonegal, Co Carlow
    • Highly Commended: Ashley Park House, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
    • Highly Commended: Ardtara Country House, Upperlands, Co Derry

     Guest House

    • Winner:The Quay House, Clifden, Co Galway
    • Highly Commended: Heatons House, Dingle, Co Kerry
    • Highly Commended: Lancaster Lodge, Cork

     B&B

    • Winner: Sheedy’s Doolin Boutique B&B, Doolin, Co Clare
    • Highly Commended: Danny Minnies, Annagry, Co. Donegal
    • Highly Commended: The Wilder Townhouse, Dublin

     Visitor Attraction

    • Winner: Hillsborough Castle Café, Hillsborough, Co Down
    • Highly CommendedThe Commons Café at MoLI, Dublin
    • Highly Commended: Good Day Deli, Nano Nagle Place, Cork

    Sustainability Award

    • Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo

     Brunch of the Year Award – Public Vote

    • Winner: Arán Artisan Bakery & Bistro, Kilkenny

    Runners up:

    • Seasalt Café & Deli, Cobh, Co Cork
    • Kelly’s Kitchen, Newport, Co Mayo
    • Sweet Geranium Café, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim
    • Osta Café & Wine Bar, Sligo