The highlight of the regional hospitality industry calendar and the main event of the recently launched and newly branded Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards was held at Colwick Hall Hotel on Wednesday 31st January 2018.

Hosted by television personality, Mark Durden-Smith, himself a staunch supporter of the industry in Nottinghamshire, the nominees and winners were celebrated for their talent, creativity, skill and importance to the local economy at a glamorous award ceremony.

And while celebrating and rewarding all those that did well in the voting, the marketing platforms for the industry in the region as a whole continue to offer the opportunity for all restaurants, bars, pubs and gastro-pubs to interact with large audiences, making the Nottingham Restaurant and Bar Awards both unique and invaluable.

“There’s no doubt competition is important in raising standards, but we also need to promote what Nottingham has to offer, and the Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards do just that through the dedicated website, and the various social media platforms, something that we didn’t have available the last time we held the previous incarnation, The Nottingham Restaurant Awards,” comments Kerry Mathie, co-founder of Big Table PR and the NRBA.

Chris Robinson, Managing Director of Adtrak adds, “In headline sponsoring the Awards, Adtrak is a perfect fit, as our skills and expertise lie in digital marketing so we’ve been able to create, and will continue to build, the digital marketing platforms and exposure that will ensure our restaurants, bars, pubs and gastro pubs reach ever wider audiences,” adding “it’s a pleasure to be involved in sponsoring these Awards and, more importantly, supporting the local economy through this initiative.”

The Nottingham Restaurant and Bar Awards launched back in September at St Mary’s Church in the Lace Market, just ahead of the live voting.  A record breaking 48,609 votes were received from the public during the month, after which, the nominees were passed to independent judges representing the world of food and drink; journalists and critics, industry experts and assessors, in order to deliver a final verdict, making the decision process clear and unequivocal and valued by the industry.

This is just a taste of what a couple of judges had to say..

“I was blown away by the nightlife scene in Nottingham, and its secret watering holes waiting to be discovered – though, judging by the crowds, and the queues outside, the secret is already out,”  Tim Cooper, London Evening Standard

‘“It was a pleasure to judge this year’s Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards. Visiting the finalists proved what a vibrant and pioneering on-trade scene Nottingham currently has,” Tristan O’Hana, Editorial Director, H2OPublishing.

And finally, Carina Simon, national freelance food and drink writer, ““The best restaurants in Nottingham right now could hold their own in any city – its residents are lucky to have them.”

Various industry awards have been held since the end of the voting; Best Young Talent – Back of House, Best Young Talent – Front of House and Best Cocktail, with the finalists being assessed at their place of work or indeed, in the case of Back of House, via a tense head-to-head cook-off held at, and supported by, Nottingham College.  All of these winners collected their awards, alongside the other winning venues, at the Awards Ceremony.

The Winners and Runner’s Up of each category were;

Best New Restaurant (opened March 2016 – August 2017) sponsored by FHP Property Consultants

Winner: Sexy Mamma Love Spaghetti

Runner’s Up: Bar Iberico, Cod’s Scallops (Carrington), Cuzina, Gusto, Masala Junction

Best New Pub, Bar or Gastro-Pub (opened March 2016 – August 2017) sponsored by licensing specialists, Poppleston Allen

Winner: The Railway at Lowdham

Runner’s Up: Be At One, The Brewhouse & Kitchen, The Gedling Inn & Kitchen, The Herbert Kilpin, Tier

Best Restaurant Chain sponsored by Colwick Hall Hotel

Winner:  Wagamama

Runner’s Up: Bistrot Pierre, Browns Brasserie & Bar, Turtle Bay

Best Design sponsored by Steven Christopher Design

Winner: Bar Iberico

Runner’s Up: George’s Great British Kitchen, Hockley Arts Club, Zaap

Best Gastro-Pub sponsored by Freedom Brewery

Winner: The Ruddington Arms

Runner’s Up: Larwood & Voce, The Lord Nelson, The Old Volunteer Caythorpe, The White Horse Ruddington

Best Young Talent, Front of House sponsored by Eden Public Relations Consultants

Winner: Daiva Steponaviciute – La Rock, Sandiacre

Other Finalists: Guy Jamson of Langar Hall, Hannah Lees of Perkins Bar & Bistrot and Joseph Peck of World Service

Best Cocktail sponsored by Enotria&Coe

Winner: World Service (Pina Kol-Lided)

Other Finalists: Alchemilla (The Hunger of the Pines), Last Chance Saloon (Fleur de Lis), Tom Browns of Gunthorpe (Mary’s Berry)

Best Bar or Pub sponsored by Insurance Brokers & Risk Management specialists, Russell Scanlan

Winner: Hockley Arts Club

Runner’s Up: Junkyard, Revolucion de Cuba, The Boiler Maker

Best Independent City Restaurant sponsored by national law firm, Gateley Plc

Winner: Iberico World Tapas

Runner’s Up: Annie’s Burger Shack, Baresca, Bar Iberico

Best Independent Out of Town Restaurant sponsored by local broadcasters, Notts tv

Winner: Tom Browns

Runner’s Up: Escabeche, Langar Hall, Masala Junction

Best Front of House Restaurant Team sponsored by health and safety software specialists, ACMS UK

Winner: Memsaab

Runner’s Up: Bar Iberico, Tom Browns, World Service

Best Kept Secret sponsored by chartered accountants, Keith Willis Associates

Winner: Lost Property

Runner’s Up: 400 Rabbits, Hockley Arts Club, The Bakehouse

Best Young Talent, Back of House sponsored by award winning catering and retail butcher, Owen Taylor & Sons

Winner: Callum Dovey, Iberico World Tapas

Other Finalists: Nino Alvarez, Iberico World Tapas / Thomas Brown, Escabeche / Kailam Arrowsmith, The Old Volunteer

Critics’ Choice

Winner:  Sat Bains

Other Finalists: John Molnar of Cod’s Scollops & Moleface Pub Co., Tim Hart of Hart’s (& Hambleton Hall), Langar Hall

Nottingham Restaurant of the Year sponsored by web design and digital marketing experts, Adtrak

Winner: Bar Iberico

Runner’s Up:  Bistrot Pierre, Langar Hall, MemSaab

A massive congratulations to all who took part. And thank you for making Nottingham so wonderful.