THE top talents of the Scottish trade enjoyed a well-earned moment in the spotlight at the SLTN Awards last week.
Comedian Jimmy Carr was master of ceremonies at the event on November 2, handing out more than 20 trophies to operators from across Scotland in front of an audience of almost 700.
Shirley Spear OBE, co-founder of multi award-winning Isle of Skye restaurant The Three Chimneys, was presented with the top trophy on the night, the SLTN Award for Industry Achievement, in association with Maxxium UK.
Shirley founded The Three Chimneys with husband Eddie in 1984; it has since become one of the most celebrated restaurants in Scotland, putting Colbost on the north west of Skye firmly on the map as a culinary destination.
Alongside building her own business, she has worked tirelessly as a champion of Scottish food and drink, serving as chair of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Food Commission and helping establish Holyrood’s Good Food Nation initiative.
Shirley wasn’t the only individual honoured on the night.
Neil Morrison, owner of Macgochans in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, The Lochside in Bowmore on Islay and The Benleva in Drumnadrochit, was named Entrepreneur of the Year; Gregor Grant of The Bridge Inn in Peebles took the Bartender of the Year title; and Lachlan Rooney of Edinburgh bar The Voodoo Rooms was named Craft Spirits Enthusiast.
Other winners included The Pot Still in Glasgow, which was named Whisky Bar of the Year; Orchid in Aberdeen, which won Cocktail Bar of the Year; The Crofter Bar & Restaurant in Fort William, which took the award for Best Soft Drinks Offer; Sportsters in Falkirk, which was named Sports Bar of the Year; The Bridge Inn in Peebles, which won the Beer Quality Award; and Inverness bar and club Johnny Foxes & The Den, which took the Social Responsibility Award.
SLTN editor Gillian McKenzie said: “As another challenging year for the trade draws to a close, the SLTN Awards once again celebrated the incredible businesses and inspirational operators and staff that make the Scottish licensed trade so special.
“Pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels play a vital role in Scotland – as the heartbeat of communities, in providing a warm welcome to tourists and as major employers, and their importance must not be overlooked.
“Congratulations to all of our winners and finalists; they were the best of an exceptional crop of entries to this year’s SLTN Awards and represent the absolute top tier of Scottish hospitality.”
SLTN Awards 2017 winners and highly commended finalists
Whisky Bar of the Year, sponsored by Glenfiddich
Winner: The Pot Still, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Ballygrant Inn & Restaurant, Islay; Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar and Shop, Edinburgh
Cocktail Bar of the Year, sponsored by Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands
Winner: Orchid, Aberdeen
Highly Commended: The Adamson, St Andrews; The Finnieston, Glasgow; Tonic Bar, Edinburgh
Rum Bar of the Year, sponsored by Sailor Jerry, Wood’s & OVD
Winner: Distill, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn, Glasgow; The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Best Soft Drinks Offer, sponsored by Vimto Out of Home
Winner: The Crofter Bar & Restaurant, Fort William
Highly Commended: Charwood, Edinburgh; Monterey Jack’s, Perth
Craft Beer Award, sponsored by Keith Brewery
Winner: Inn Deep, Glasgow
Highly Commended: The Blue Blazer, Edinburgh; Shilling Brewing Company, Glasgow
Beer Quality Award, sponsored by Tennent’s
Winner: The Bridge Inn, Peebles
Highly Commended: The Market Arms, Montrose; The Volunteer Arms, Uphall
Craft Spirits Enthusiast, sponsored by Eden Mill St Andrews
Winner: Lachlan Rooney, The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Highly Commended: David Howie, Scott’s, Troon; Andy Keir, Bruach Bar & Restaurant, Broughty Ferry
Gin Bar of the Year, sponsored by Schweppes
Winner: The Finnieston, Glasgow
Highly Commended: The Jolly Botanist, Edinburgh; 56 North, Edinburgh
Best Outdoor Area, sponsored by Magners
Winner: The Three Sisters, Edinburgh
Highly Commended: 7 Saints Bar & Burger Kitchen, Prestwick; The Blackbird, Edinburgh
Bartender of the Year, sponsored by Molson Coors
Winner: Gregor Grant, The Bridge Inn, Peebles
Highly Commended: Becky Smith, Platform 3, Linlithgow; Nicole Sykes, The Voyage of Buck, Edinburgh
Mixologist of the Year, sponsored by Absolut & Barnomadics
Winner: Jamie Moran, The Finnieston, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Nick Gordon, Orchid, Aberdeen; Ryan Mowat, Kelvingrove Café, Glasgow
Restaurant of the Year (Fine Dining), sponsored by Strathmore Scottish Spring Water
Winner: Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Lochgreen House Hotel, Troon
Restaurant of the Year (Casual Dining), sponsored by Strathmore Scottish Spring Water
Winner: No.10 Bar & Restaurant, Aberdeen
Highly Commended: La Petite Mort, Edinburgh
Independent Pub/Bar of the Year, sponsored by SLTN
Winner: Macgochans, Isle of Mull
Highly Commended: Johnny Foxes and The Den, Inverness; Bloc+, Glasgow
Concept Venue of the Year, sponsored by Britvic
Winner: Chaakoo Bombay Café, Glasgow
Highly Commended: The Drugstore Social, Glasgow; Gin71, Glasgow
Sports Bar of the Year, sponsored by Sky
Winner: Sportsters, Falkirk
Highly Commended: Commercial Hotel, Wishaw; Old Schoolhouse, Aberdeen
Late Night Bar of the Year, sponsored by Distell International
Winner: The Howlin’ Wolf, Glasgow
Highly Commended: The Permit Room, Edinburgh; Soul, Aberdeen
Social Responsibility Award, sponsored by Diageo
Winner: Johnny Foxes & The Den, Inverness
Highly Commended: Fubar Nightclub, Stirling; Harlem Nightclub, Dunfermline
Nightclub of the Year, sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka
Winner: Why Not Nightclub, Edinburgh
Highly Commended: Fubar Nightclub, Stirling; The Sanctuary, Glasgow
Independent Multiple Operator of the Year, sponsored by Smirnoff
Winner: Kained Holdings, Glasgow
Highly Commended: DRG (Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group), Glasgow; Manorview Hotels & Leisure Group, Howwood
Unsung Hero, sponsored by Hugh Stirling Ltd
Winner: Brian Fulton, Hold Fast Entertainment, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Virginie Brouard, Le Di-Vin Wine Bar, Edinburgh; Colin Hinds, Kilted Lobster & Rib-Aye Steakhouse, Edinburgh
Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Chivas
Industry Achievement Award, sponsored by Maxxium UK
Winner: Shirley Spear OBE, The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye