Profiled: Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Award nominees part two

Organisers Simon Cotton and David Ritson of Destination Harrogate (s).
Organisers Simon Cotton and David Ritson of Destination Harrogate (s).

The final countdown to the 2017 Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards is now on!

Winners will be revealed at a sold-out ceremony at Harrogate's Royal Hall on Monday, June 5.

Organisers Simon Cotton and David Ritson of Destination Harrogate received 1,500 responses to the awards this year.

Here we profile the second set of nominees. Check out part one here.

Newcomer of the Year – sponsored by Harrogate College

The Little Ale House
Explained by one nomination as “A unique independent, honest unpretentious little ale house run by a young couple passionate about providing top quality ale to Harrogate”. Summed up best by another as “Friendly, warm, quirky, dog friendly, different, passionate, quality, relaxing, fun…..the list is endless!”

11 Somerset House
A great addition to the bar/restaurant scene in Harrogate catering for visitors and locals alike with fresh produce, great coffee and the deli is authentic, imaginative and with great service. Really pushing the food quality with investment in both the kitchen and the team and great plans for the outdoors this summer!

Revolucion De Cuba
Since opening at Christmas Revolution de Cuba “with their exotic food, colourful cocktails, nights of salsa and all things Cuban” has been the place to be according to the nominations received!
One said “The staff are incredibly well trained and are all lovely!!”

Manna Bakery
“Bread second to none and Brownies made with love!” said one nomination and with “Innovative recipes; Daily specials; Busy, informative social media; Friendly service; Lovely atmosphere; Talented chefs; Great décor; Amazing celebration cakes to order and delicious homemade soups” – what’s not to like?!

Unsung Hero – sponsored by Bidvest Foodservice

John Fox
Once Mayor of Harrogate John has been instrumental in the making the Harrogate Christmas lights bigger and better, involved in the successful Christmas Market and establishing the Volunteering Oscars which has been going 10 years and recognised over 2500 volunteers– he even received a personal message from the Queen.

Allan Clark
Allan has spent many years at the Harrogate Convention Centre and uses his knowledge to the great advantage of his employers and his clients alike. Calm, efficient, helpful and always strives to find a solution to everyone’s satisfaction. Allan is also a regular volunteer at annual events such as the Bed Race and the International Youth Music Festival.

Brian James
– Ripley Castle
Having joined the estate in 1967 Brian is in his 50th year of working at the castle – yes 50th – Brian shows no sign of easing up yet and is a familiar figure in the area diligently going about his duties, tidying, clearing and assisting whatever the weather! Ripley is a stunning and beautiful village and Brian plays no small part in helping it be that.

Katie Summersall
– Turkish Baths
Described by those who nominated her as a ‘Superwoman’ Katie has time for everyone, is always smiling, considerate to others and her positive attitude is much appreciated by her team and guests alike.

Best Achievement of the Year – sponsored by Blueline Taxis

Harrogate International Festivals - Carabosse
Brought to Harrogate by the Harrogate International Festivals as part of their 50th anniversary this French experience lit up Valley Gardens – with zero damage.
Families and people of all ages – 25,000 of them - enjoyed this unique and very special event. They were “astounded by the theatrical way the fire was presented and the transformation to the Valley Gardens in such an imaginative way” - “A magical event of awe and wonder”.

Adam Chandler – Harrogate Film Festival
Inspired by Adam this festival bought together 23 local companies with 16 events over three days, five of which were sold out with hundreds attending across 8 venues. The film competition drew 708 entries from 56 countries worldwide putting Harrogate firmly on the map for independent film makers.

Harrogate Christmas Market
Harrogate Christmas Market is now recognised as one of the best in the UK by traders, coach operators and visitors. This year will be the sixth time this diligent, dedicated group of volunteers will host the market. It is run on a not for profit basis and over the years over 240,000 visitors have attended over the four days. Almost 875 traders have taken part and over 373 coaches have visited.

The Royal Hall Restoration Trust Volunteer Team
Hailed as the “best group of volunteers” by those who nominated them the RHRT (Trust Volunteers) have “brought the fantastic Royal Hall to life for all in Harrogate, with open days and guided tours with over 1800 visitors last year helping promote the heritage and maintain this important building for future generations – and they’re doing a great job!”

Outstanding Customer Service – sponsored by Leeds Bradford International Airport

Deborah Rolph
– Harrogate Convention Centre
Deborah’s plaudits pay testament to her commitment, hard work and great personality as being one of the reasons they use the convention centre. Calm and cheerful under pressure, always found walking the floor of her events, walkie-talkie in hand and ready to help!

Fatou Sepiere
– The Old Swan Hotel
Fatou is described in her nominations as a ‘tiny bundle of customer service enthusiasm’. Her passion for guests is ‘palpable, always going above and beyond to ensure a wonderful stay.’
She receives many gifts, cards and thank you flowers from her guests on a regular basis.

Clemence Roux
– West Park Hotel
According to her guests and colleagues, Clemence ‘brings a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to her role, with “charm and poise” she is “always smiling and extremely professional and welcoming”. Her focus on quality and attention to detail shines through and she always has the “guests best interests at heart!”

Gareth Vowles
– The Pit
A favourite of the awards and a past winner, Gareth has once again received much support for his “energetic and warm approach to guests – he has time for everyone!”
He is praised for his great memory for guest’s names, his great energy and enthusiasm for service – a real passion for the food and drink industry – his team love him!

Sophie Pride
– William & Victorias
A long standing member of the ‘Will n Vics’ team Sophie delivers great customer service – indeed one describes her as the “’face’ of William and Victoria’s at lunchtime! She recognises guests, their names, their drinks and their preferred food choices – “a shining example of how it should be done!”

Lucy McCarthy
– The Yorkshire hotel
Lucy is highlighted, as well as Rob and all the team at The Yorkshire as being a “credit to the hotel and to Harrogate”. She makes the difference for her guests, many of whom are regulars and they are delighted to mention her dedication and the effort she puts in to making sure every detail is just right!

Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by Visit Harrogate

The Orchid
Recognised by many nominations for providing imaginative, consistent, high quality food with excellent service is, according to nominees “simply the best; a long standing Harrogate restaurant with high quality food and brilliant customer service – outstanding on all fronts!”

Diners said “Superb in every way- exciting, utterly delicious every time, a great food experience!” with “friendly, knowledgeable but unobtrusive staff; relaxed but sophisticated décor and ambience.” Even Jay Raynor has been in to review the food and see what all the excitement is about !

Guests praise included “A fabulous and inspired new gastronomic destination in Harrogate; Kanyana is an extraordinary chef with a real flair for seafood – fearless, creative and exceptionally hard working.”

Restaurant 92
A popular choice for many; “Restaurant 92 never fails to make me smile with delight after every visit; the menu is exquisite, price is reasonable and the service is second to none – highly recommended!” said just one of the many nominations.

Bar of the Year – sponsored by Timothy Taylor’s

10 Devonshire Place
Known simply as 10 Dev by many of those who voted for this bar with great beer, warm and welcoming character, a range of top products, craft ale, fine wines and spirits along with an amazing knowledgeable team of bar staff.

The message for this popular bar and the team who work there was clear from voters “Great bar, tasty food, great quiz, smashing beer, great sports TV and exceptional service from a friendly, welcoming team – keep up the good work!”

Pitcher & Piano
P&P as it’s known locally always delivers “welcoming staff greeting guests with smiles – without fail, top notch attentive service, table service when they can with excellent food served in a great vibrant atmosphere”

The Royal Baths
Champagne Bar
Part of the beautiful Royal Baths building they were nominated as a “wonderful place to visit with a bar well stocked serving the best cocktails, nothing is too much trouble however busy they are…its sophisticated and relaxed and you feel comfortable and welcome as soon as you arrive”.

Hales Bar
Famed throughout the county for its party atmosphere and led by Amanda THE most friendly of staff, Hales is steeped in history as Harrogate’s oldest pub with gas lights as old as the pub itself! Full of character(….and characters!) Hales continues to be a strong contender – even has a secret garden now don’t you know!