Awards season is upon us and while the drinks world may not be as high flying as Hollywood, we always love seeing who made the cut in GQ's Food + Drink Awards. With the shortlisted venues and personalities being sent a congratulations and a bottle of Champagne (lucky things) all we have to do now is sit tight and wait till April 26th when the annoucement will be made.
In the meantime, we ask the people behind some of these fantastic venues what being shortlisted meant to them.
A sample of those shortlisted:
"I mean we're chuffed," says Iain Griffiths, co-owner of Dandelyan. "Not only is it our second time nominated but the list really highlights just how great the UK cocktail scene is right now and so to be on such a list is a big tip of the hat to the brilliant staff who keep Dandelyan ticking daily and nightly. To see our brothers and mentors Bramble nominated is also f*cking rad, that bar means everything to us and truly is one of the best places to drink in the world."
"Being nominated for a GQ award is very different from being nominated for any other award. The best thing about them is that it's voted by an independent panel from outside the industry, meaning it's less influenced by brands. These awards are also a reflection of the bar's overall offer, atmosphere and service, whereas industry-based awards tend to focus a little too much on drinks than the bar as a whole. It's also great to be recognised by a mainstream media outlet and regular people who notice what you are doing because you are great, have passion and believe in it, not because you ran the most popular on Twitter campaign," says Happiness Forgets owner Alastair Burgess.
The Blind Pig
"An incredible category to be nominated for, and in such esteemed company too. If we were to win, we would be immensely proud and the team truly deserve it," says Jamie Jones, the Groups Bar Manager for Jason Atherton.
The Punch Room
"We feel privileged to be recognised by such a great publication, an excellent partner in crime to have and a very welcome nomination for all the hard work we have put in over the last years," says Davide Segat, Bars Manager.
The Clove Club
“The UK is one of the most exciting and important destinations in the world for dining out. The variety of cuisines available and the standard of food and service is simply amazing! To be considered one of the best restaurants in the UK is a real honour," says owner Johnny Smith.
Best Overall Experience
“We’re absolutely over the moon to be nominated in the GQ Awards. We’re especially chuffed to be in the ‘Best overall Experience Category, which gives recognition not just to our bar and floor teams, but also to the contribution of the amazingly talented musicians who grace our stage 7 nights a week,” says owner Edmund Weil.
Pollen Street Social
"It’s always an honour to be recognised for the hard work that goes into building our restaurants for our customers, whether that be service, food, beverage or interiors. So when it comes in the form of being shortlisted in the GQ reader’s awards, we are delighted."
Will Beckett - Hawksmoor
"It's lovely to be on a list like this, not least because we still think of ourselves as a couple of friends having fun and to see yourself alongside names like Jason Atherton or Alan Yau is still a bit surreal!" says Will Beckett.
Jason Atherton - Social Restaurants