THEY'VE done it again.
Settlers Inn Hotel in Port Macquarie has walked away with yet another top industry award, winning the best regional local title at the 2019 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence.
This year more than 600 nominations were received for the industry's most prestigious awards across a record 45 categories.
Finnian's Tavern, Hastings Hotel and Settlers Inn Hotel were all vying for honours at this year's event.
Finnian's Tavern was hoping to come away with the hotly contested best parmigiana title. It instead went to the Tydvil Hotel & Bistro in Broken Hill.
Settlers Inn Hotel was in the running for six titles - best family friendly, best regional local, best sporting entertainment venue, best regional gaming venue, best regional casual dining in northern region and best steak sandwich.
Wauchope's Hastings Hotel was nominated in the best steak and best retail liquor outlet of the awards.
The winners of the hotly contested food categories were spread around the state - Hotel Jesmond in Newcastle won Best Burger (and Regional Chef of the Year with Paul Thornton), while The Oaks at Neutral Bay took out the Award for Best Steak Sandwich.
Best Steak winner was Scone's Thoroughbred Hotel, while the first winner of the new Best Parmi category was Tydvil Hotel & Bistro in Broken Hill.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the winners really did set the standard across the hotel industry.
"The bar was set extremely high this year with more than 600 nominations from right across NSW," Mr Whelan said.
"It is particularly pleasing to see so many regional hotels entering this year when many have been doing it tough in drought-stricken - and now bushfire ravaged - communities. Regional hotels in particular are the hearts of their communities and it is great to see so many of them among the finalists and winners tonight."
"I would like to congratulate all winners - particularly the Rutherford and Fiddler on their great wins."
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