Westford Inn has made the shortlist for the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards.
Under new ownership since late last year, the North Uist pup is in the final four of the ‘Island Bar of the Year’ category, along with Macgochans in Mull, Drift Inn in Arran, and the Old Inn on Skye.
A record-breaking 1400 nominations were received for the awards, which are run by industry magazine DRAM and aim to recognise excellence in the Scottish licensed trade.
DRAM instigated the first ever licensed trade awards 21 years ago, and today the entry has never been stronger. Some of the biggest names in the drinks industry – including the BII, Caledonian Brewery, Diageo Disaronno, Gordon & Macphail, Inverarity Morton, Isle of Arran Distillers, Kopparberg, Maxxium / Mixxit, Molson Coors and Tennents, as well as Glencairn Crystal, Bright Signals, Flow Training and the Sunday Mail – back the awards.
Entries have flooded in from as far away as Mull, Benbecula, Cupar, St Andrews, Ayr and across the Central Belt as well.
Now that nominations have been received from the public who voted online, organisers want you to help them pick the best of the best by becoming a secret shopper.
Organiser Susan Young explained: “We’ve had a massive response to this year’s call for nominations and lots of quality entries from around Scotland. As a result, although we have a team of mystery shoppers already, there is always room for more. So if there are any folk out there who consider themselves discerning, please get them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why they think they have the right credentials.”
She continues: “Our mystery shoppers will initially wine and dine and check out the best craft bars and service, and once they have given us their feedback, we send a panel of judges. It’s a thorough process, but very enjoyable as well.
Finalists will be invited to the awards ceremony on 16th August at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow, where they find out whether they are recipients of the bespoke crystal trophy made especially for the awards by Glencairn Crystal.
Shortlisted nominees can also enjoy a party and celebrate in style. This year – with Rio hosting the Olympic Games – the awards have a Brazilian theme.