A night of glitz and glamour saw The Inn Collection Group celebrate its talented employees on Thursday evening as the north east pub company hosted its first-ever annual awards at Newcastle’s Village Hotel.
Bringing 200 people together from its sites across the north of England and North Wales, the night saw 13 awards recognise everything from the efforts of individuals up to the overall performance of the group’s inns.
The Seaburn Inn proved to be the big winners of the night as the venue scooped three of the gongs on offer, with assistant manager Sarah Bell picking up the rising star award in her category, Casey Azcarraga being named head chef of the year and the overall site being named Inn of the year.
Beating off competition from Blyth’s The Commissioners Quay Inn and Ambleside’s The Temperance Inn, the award recognised a from the seaside venue, which smashed its third-year trading targets in only its first full year of operation.
Whilst missing out on that ultimate award, there were still two big prizes heading to South Northumberland, with the Commissioners picking up General Manager of the Year for Henry White and Susan Auld picking up the Rising Star for head housekeeper.
The Swan, Grasmere picked up a pair of hero awards, with kitchen porter Sergiu Cioban and maintenance team member David Brackwell recognised not only for their work in the refurb of their home site, but also their contribution at other trading venues in Cumbria.
The Lake District was also where the winners of housekeeping hero of the year and sous chef rising star of the year hailed from, with The Glenridding Hotel’s Mariena Rog and The Coniston Inn’s Matthew Lemm picking up those respective awards.
As the first event of its type, the evening saw all colleagues with five years or more of service also acknowledged, with a total of 35 people being rewarded, with the longest serving now entering their 15th year with the company.
Amongst their number was front-of-house team member Lynne Simpson from The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry.
Marking nine years with The Inn Collection Group, she has worked at the inn that sits under the shadow of Roseberry Topping for 39 years and was also a deserving recipient of the front-of-house hero of the year award.
Other long-service awards were presented to office manager Charlote Turner and reservations supervisor Jan Moffet (14 years) housekeepers Ady Brannigan and Julia Hall and reservations manager Dan Patterson (all 10 years)
With the company rapidly expanding in recent years, its central support team were also recognised with Jake Henderson and Cath Bellhouse, both key members of the people team awarded the support hub hero award and support hub manager of the year respectively.
Enjoyed by all in attendance, the night was expertly hosted by the team at Village Hotel Newcastle while the award ceremony was seamlessly delivered by the team from Storm AV, with their audio/visual solutions enhancing the evening’s proceedings.
Entertainment was provided with music from the upbeat four-piece band Work In Progress, whose varied setlist kept revellers dancing until midnight.
Planned to be an ongoing feature of the company’s calendar, the full list of nominees and winners were (winners in bold)
Front of House hero of the year – Liesa Robertson, Lynne Simpson, Maria Lopez Chaves
Kitchen Hero of the year – Sarah Mason, Jamie Kane, Sergiu Cioban
Housekeeping hero of the year -Ady Brannigan, Mariena Rog, Tatian Ciobhan
Maintenance – David Brackwell, Gary Cresswell, Mark Cooper
Support Hub hero of the year – James Christie, Jake Henderson, Gary Dawson
Rising Stars of the Year
Assistant Manager – Sarah Bell, Adam Henderson, Ann-Marie Baker
Sous Chef – Matthew Lemm, Eddie Livingstone, Michael Richardson
Head Housekeeper – Joanne Maddox, Victoria Rate, Susan Auld
Head Chef of the Year – Casey Azcarraga, David Sloman, Sandor Mezo
Support Manager of the Year – Cath Bellhouse, Michael Coulthard, Dan Patterson
General Manager of the Year – Richie Miller, Henry White, Daniel Chrisp
Special Recognition awards – Beckie Hardcastle, Andy Lemm, Gary Tuner
Inn of the Year – The Seaburn Inn, The Commissioners Quay Inn, The Temperance Inn