Justin and Jenny Green and Jonathan Wallace of Ballyvolane House, with Georgina Campbell and Richard Corrigan at the weekend awards ceremony in Dublin. (Photo: Paul Sherwood)

Representing the four corners of Ireland, the winners of the 2020 Georgina Campbell Irish Food & Hospitality Awards, held in association with AIB, were announced last weekend.

Amongst those accepting a prestigious accolade, were Ballyvolane Country House, Castlelyons, winner of the Country House Of The Year 2020 category. While Longueville House Beverages, Mallow was announced winner in the Natural Food Award ‘drinks’ category.

Justin and Jenny Green are the current custodians of this gracious 1728 mansion. Surrounded by its own farmland and magnificent wooded grounds, it has wonderful gardens (domain of Justin’s father, Jeremy), a trout lake and salmon beats on the River Blackwater, it’s also known for contemporary charms, including their own gin, the famed Bertha’s Revenge.

Justin and Jenny are an extremely hospitable couple, committed to continuing the standards of hospitality, comfort and food and drink for which this lovely and fun-filled house is renowned – and recent guests Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall obviously enjoyed it, as you can see from their framed letter of thanks in the drawing room.

Recipients of ‘Highly Commended’ awards in this category were Coopershill House, Riverstown, Co Sligo and Temple House, Ballymote, Co Sligo.

Celebrating 21 years in their current incarnation, the Georgina Campbell Awards recognise and honour Ireland’s standard-bearers in food and hospitality in Ireland with particular emphasis, this year, on the industry pioneers who put down quality markers a generation or more ago.

Speaking at the awards, Georgina Campbell had praise for the improvements in sourcing policies, crediting Bord Bia’s Just Ask programme for the work it has done in this area.

“Provenance is so important to consumers and establishments owe it to themselves, their suppliers and their customers to highlight the origin of the produce on the menu, thereby supporting Irish suppliers,” said Georgina.

The Awards were held in association with AIB for the first time and David McCarthy, Head of Hospitality & Tourism at AIB said: “Our message to hospitality businesses in a time of uncertainty with increased competitiveness, mounting cost pressures and slower revenue growth, is that it is now more important than ever for SMEs to focus on sustainability from a social, environmental and economic perspective.”

Amongst the many guests who attended the prestigious awards were Richard Corrigan, Darina Allen Michael Deane, Niall McKenna and Andy McFadden, all of whom are widely recognised as leading lights in the promotion of Ireland’s thriving food and hospitality industries.