Swift named Britain’s best bar in GQ Food & Drink Awards

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Swift in London has been named Britain’s best bar in the GQ Food & Drink Awards alongside other winners such as Soho House Group.

The two-floor Soho bar (pictured), which is run by bartenders Mia Johansson and Bobby Hiddleston with Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson, was described as “a dream team collaboration from the people who brought us Oriole and Milk & Honey” and a “bar with a split personality”.

The runner-up for best bar, sponsored by Belvedere vodka, was Punch Room at The London Edition hotel. The other nominees were Black Rock and The Devil’s Darling, The Mint Gun Club and The American Bar at The Savoy – all in London.

Other winners at the fourth annual GQ Food & Drink Awards last night included Soho House Group which took home The Innovator Award. The judges said: “As diverse and far-reaching as the rapidly expanding empire has become, their mission has remained the same: to provide a home from home for their members.”

Soho House Group’s joint venture with US hotel operator Sydell Group, The Ned in the City of London, was named the UK’s best hotel. Judges said: “The Ned has created a benchmark for hotels and there is nothing else quite like it.”

The runner-up was Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, Devon. The other nominees were Nobu and The Mandrake in London and Dakota in Leeds.

The award for best interior went to the refurbished Bob Bob Ricard in London, with judges saying: “Bob Bob Ricard’s interior design successfully combines classic London luxury with touches of wit and playfulness.”

The runner-up was Sketch in London. The other nominees were Nine Lives, Isabel and Ichibuns – again, all in London.

The UK’s best pub was The Fuzzy Duck near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. “Welcoming families, including four-legged friends, since 2013, this pub has been transformed from a boarded-up boozer to a cosy combination of exposed beams, roaring fireplaces and hearty food,” the judges said.

Core by Clare Smyth in London was named best restaurant while Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow in Cornwall took the title of best chef. Sonal Clare at Purnell’s in Birmingham was named the UK’s best sommelier.

The award for best restaurateur was won jointly by Karam, Sunaina and Jyotin Sethi of JKS Restaurants, whose ventures include Trishna, Gymkhana and Bubbledogs in London. The award for best front of house went to Sandia Chang at Bubbledogs.

The Breakthrough Award went to Moor Hall near Ormskirk in Lancashire which was awarded a Michelin star in its first year of business, while the title of best overall experience was won by L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to chef Ruth Rogers of The River Café in London.

The judging panel included Ryan Chetiyawardana, Richard Corrigan, Nieves Barragain Mohacho, Mark Hix, Bertrand Steip, Dylan Jones, Oliver Peyton, Tara Bernerd and Matt Hobbs.

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