The ‘Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards 2018’, in Association with Fáilte Ireland, were held at the InterContinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin recently, with Hanora’s Cottage, Nire Valley, Ballymacarbry clinching the National Guesthouse Breakfast of the Year for 2018 award.
The citation was as follows: Mary Wall and her late husband Seamus took the Ireland’s Best Breakfast title at our 2002 Awards, and the extraordinary thing is that their award citation could be repeated today, almost to the word. Mary now runs the wonderful Hanora’s Cottage with her son Eoin and his wife Judith, both Euro-Toques chefs who use local foods from small suppliers whenever possible and credit them on their menus, and their enthusiasm is a tonic. Fans travel from far and wide to dine in the restaurant and many will choose to stay overnight, especially to begin the day with Hanora’s legendary breakfast buffet. Set up over a series of tables and laid out artfully in baskets and Stephen Pearce bowls, it offers an amazing array of freshly made breads and baked treats (the legacy of Seamus, who was a baker), fruits both local and exotic, juices, cereals, porridge, cheeses… and that’s before you even think about excellent hot dishes which are carefully cooked to order. As we said in 2002: “This is truly a gargantuan feast, designed to see you many miles along the hills before you stop for a little packed lunch (prepared that morning) and ultimately return for dinner.”
Mary, Eoin and Judith, together with their very loyal staff are delighted with the honour they have received. Without the commitment and loyalty of their staff, some of whom have been with them nearly 25 years, this achievement would not have been possible.
51 years ago, Seamus and Mary Wall went to live in Hanora’s Cottage in the Nire Valley, they were the third car in the Valley, how things have changed. Soon after they began to add to the cottage and eventually over 32 years ago they started accommodating guests.
It was a great highlight to the award that Mary was invited onto the Ray D’Arcy Show on Saturday, March 24.
Mary would like to acknowledge the trust and encouragement of Georgina Campbell and also to acknowledge Mary Costello at Clinton’s of Clonmel and Tom Power at Premier Meats, Gladstone Street for their help and support towards the show.