BALLOO House in Killinchy, Co Down, has lifted a major national award after it was singled out as providing the Best Sunday Lunch in Northern Ireland in the Observer Food Monthly awards which are voted for by over 16,000 people on 26 October.
An expert panel of judges included restaurant critic Jay Rayner, Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett and popular food writer Nigel Slater. Now in their ninth year, the Observer Food Monthly Awards also deliberated over the many top entries in the best in UK food and produce.
Ronan Sweeney, Managing Director of Balloo Inns, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised in the Observer Food Monthly Awards, which are so highly respected by food lovers across the UK. Dining out for Sunday lunch is increasingly popular and is a very firm tradition for busy families across Northern Ireland. We are honoured to be recognised for the quality of our food on such an important family occasion.”
Chef Danny Millar added: “The Observer Food Monthly awards are not only highly coveted at the industry level but most importantly are voted for by the public, and I’m delighted we represented Northern Ireland as the regional runner-up for the readers’ choices of roast dinners. It’s a credit to the entire Balloo House team, recognising not only the quality of our food and locally sourced ingredients but also our warm family welcome.”
Observer Food Monthly Editor Allan Jenkins said: “With a higher number of voters than ever before and expert judges from most parts of the UK, the OFM awards have never felt so representative or relevant.”
Sir Terence Conran picked up a Lifetime achievement at the Awards and Raymond Blanc was recognised for an Outstanding Contribution accolade. The award for best cookbook went to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for his River Cottage Veg Every Day book.
In recent years, Balloo House has achieved many gongs and has put the small town of Killinchy in County Down firmly on the culinary map of the UK collecting a number of national and international awards. The restaurant that has been included in the Good Food Guide UK, the Michelin Guide, the Bridgestone 100 Best Restaurants In Ireland and Georgina Campbell’s ‘Best of the Best’ in Ireland Guide. Chef Danny Millar has also won the coveted ‘Best Chef in Ireland’ title at the prestigious Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards and was Northern Ireland winner of ‘Great British Menu’ for two consecutive years.
Balloo Inns has also achieved success with its award-winning Parson’s Nose dining pub in Hillsborough. And they recently acquired Lisbarnett House, a popular local pub situated in the picturesque village of Lisbane, also in County Down.