A London bar has been recognised for its promotion, education and service of spirits as one of the winners in last night’s AA Hospitality Awards.
The Churchill Bar and Terrace (pictured) at the Hyatt Regency Churchill received the Spirit Award, sponsored by The Balvenie whisky, because of its commitment to training bar staff, its regularly changing cocktail menu and its spirits selection including its own Churchill Craft Gin.
It was one of 23 winners at last night’s AA Hospitality Awards ceremony held at Grosvenor House in London’s Park Lane for the bar, pub, restaurant and hotel sector. Other categories included the Wine Award, sponsored by on-trade drinks supplier Matthew Clark.
Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of the AA inspectorate and other industry professionals, winners are selected in recognition of excellence and success within their chosen category, having shown a significant improvement in the preceding 12 to 18 months and proving their dedication to raising industry standards and enhancing both their guest and diner experiences.
All the winners will appear in the latest edition of the 2016 AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guides which were launched at the event.
The Churchill Bar and Terrace in Portman Square was launched as a new-look destination bar nearly three years ago. Its seasonal menus have included chocolate cocktails in the winter in collaboration with organic chocolate brand Green & Black’s while it champions UK producers such as Sacred and Sipsmith spirits.
In announcing the Spirit Award, the judges of the AA Hospitality Awards quoted the hotel’s own statement that the bar is “not a place where a cocktail is just delivered to guests – it is a place where cocktails have stories that are told upon delivery”. The judges added: “It is this passion that resonates throughout everything they do that makes them the 2015 AA Spirit Award winner.”
Full list of winners
AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year 2015: Daniel Clifford
AA Lifetime Achievement Award: chef Robin Hutson
AA Hotel of the Year, England: Cliveden, Taplow
AA Hotel of the Year, Wales: St George’s Hotel, Llandudno
AA Hotel of the Year, Scotland: Rufflets Country House, St Andrews
AA Hotel of the Year, London: Corinthia Hotel, London
AA Hotel of the Year, Northern Ireland: Galgorm Resort and Spa, Ballymena
AA Restaurant of the Year, England: House of Tides, Newcastle Upon Tyne
AA Restaurant of the Year, Wales: Coast Restaurant, Saundersfoot
AA Restaurant of the Year, Scotland: The Gannet, Glasgow
AA Restaurant of the Year, London: Tredwell’s, London
AA Wine Award, England and Overall – The Sun Inn, Dedham
AA Wine Award, Wales: Walnut Tree, Abergavenny
AA Wine Award, Scotland: Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow
AA Pub of the Year, England: The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold
AA Pub of the Year, Wales: Kinmel Arms, Abergele
AA Pub of the Year, Scotland: The Scran and Scallie, Edinburgh
AA Hotel Group of the Year: Brend Hotels
AA Eco Hotel of the Year: The Savoy, London
and Eco Hotel Group of the Year: Exclusive Hotels and Venues
AA Food Service Award: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quats’ Saisons
AA Housekeeper of the Year Award: Sarah Middlemas, The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews
AA Spirit Award: The Churchill Bar and Terrace, London