Hospitality Awards for Professionalism Launched for 2018

The Institute of Hospitality NI , the professional membership body for individual managers and aspiring managers who work and study in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries, has officially launched the 23rd Institute of Hospitality Awards For Professionalism. The awards will take place at Titanic Belfast on Friday 11th May 2018.The nominations are now officially open for these highly coveted awards recognise talented individuals who have contributed to their business and the industry over the past yea. For 2018 there are 21 categories with 4 brand new categories including;

  • Duty Manager of the Year,
  • General Manager of the Future,
  • Human Resource Manager of the Year
  • The Unsung Hero Award.

The two-day judging process features an experienced team of independent judges who come from a huge range of non-hospitality related sectors, and who give their time and expertise freely to assess a large number of nominees. Through an interview process, judges look for individuals who clearly demonstrate how they develop themselves, their people, as well as shape their business.This year the Institute of hospitality is delighted to announce that the charity partner for the awards is Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to blood cancer research. As a registered educational charity with a global membership, the Institute offers a wide range of benefits including online resources, regional networks and industry-specific management publications and research.

For details on how to enter and the closing dates visit or follow Institute of Hospitality NI on Facebook InstituteofHospityalityNI/ and Twitter @IOH_NI #IOHNI18.




Bushmills® Irish Whiskey has launched BUSHMILLS RED BUSH, a new brand in the award-winning portfolio. The highly anticipated release is the first new expression from The Old Bushmills Distillery for the domestic market in nearly five years.The launch recently happened in Belfast last night with an immersive tasting event at The Harp Bar followed by an after party at The Thirsty Goat. The evening was hosted by Joe Lindsay and the main event saw guests enjoy the signature Red & White serve whilst enjoying Red Bush-inspired burgers and live music from local duo, Hot Sausage & Mustard.

As the Irish whiskey category has escalated in popularity, consumer demand has increased for a relevant and versatile whiskey that can be enjoyed neat or with a range of mixers. BUSHMILLS RED BUSH is a subtle and balanced expression – appealing to both whiskey enthusiasts and those new to the category, drawing new consumers into the character and flavour profile unique to Bushmills Irish Whiskey. The versatile expression delivers a great, effortless taste neat but also works perfectly as a long serve with a range of mixers like soda, cola or ginger ale. The BUSHMILLS RED BUSH signature serve however, is the Red & White, made using one part BUSHMILLS RED BUSH and three parts white lemonade, poured over ice and garnished with a wedge of lime.

This new release is a testament to the increasing popularity of the Irish whiskey category with global sales increasing by 54% in the past five years, according to the report issued by the Irish Spirits Association in October 2017. Colum Egan, Master Distiller at The Old Bushmills Distillery has told us that while they have been innovating with aged whiskeys for centuries, they are excited to embark on a journey with the new whiskey drinker. Maturing the whiskey exclusively in first fill bourbon barrels creates a mildly sweet and extremely smooth spirit that will resonate with both frequent bourbon fans and Irish whiskey drinkers. There have been some big changes in the trade with the growth of the Irish whiskey category, and this new innovation from Bushmills Irish Whiskey is big news for the industry. The smooth blend is said to be ideal for first time whiskey drinkers: easy to drink and easy to mix. The brand is keeping ahead of the curve and responding to consumer demand opening up the Irish whiskey category to a whole new audience.

To keep up to date with Bushmills Red Bush, and other brands in the Bushmills Irish Whiskey® portfolio, follow @BushmillsUK on social media or visit










PANI Awards at Culloden Estate

The Public Association of Northern Ireland Awards recently took place at the Culloden Hotel. The biggest names in the advertising industry in Northern Ireland came together with media-owners alike to celebrate the remarkable successes in the development and implementation of creative, innovative and impactful advertising campaigns over the past 3 years. Hosted by well-known Irish comedian Neil Delamere, it was a night to remember for local Belfast-based agency Genesis who picked up a total of twenty-two awards, including five gold and the evening’s top prize – the PANI Awards 2017 Grand Prix for the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland’s Farm Safety campaign.

Marketing and creative advertising agency RLA scooped an equally impressive five gold, spanning the press, magazines and outdoor sections of the awards ceremony for its work with Belfast International Airport and Recruit NI. ICAN’s work with West Coast Cooler proved impressive among the judging panel, picking up gold in both Best Outdoor Innovation and Best Mixed Media Campaign categories. Shopper marketing agency mxb took home the top prize in the Best Magazine Campaign category, while brand engagement agency Mammoth won gold for Best Use of Digital Advertising and Social Media.

For its work with radio, ASG & Partners took home gold in both the Best Use of Radio and Best Radio Campaign categories, while Holywood-based advertising agency Ardmore Advertising won gold for the Most Outstanding Use of Radio as a Sound Medium. Recognising the crucial role of media-owners, PANI Chair Siobhan Lavery presented two category awards for the Media Owner Initiative. Mirror Media Northern Ireland won gold for ‘Belfast Loves’ by Belfast Live, as did Q Radio for ‘Proud to be Local’.

For more information and to see the full list of winners, visit:

Pictured: Phil Crothers, Darren Lyttle, Tara West, Helen Blakley and Stephen Bogan.
Team Genesis showcasing their haul of awards at the 2017 PANI Awards gala which took place at the Culloden Estate & Spa.

Award Winning Ambition

Around 250 PR professionals in Belfast last Friday, 13th October for the 2017 CIPR NI PRide Awards. The awards are a celebration of outstanding public relations practice in Northern Ireland. The glamorous event, hosted by Q Radio Breakfast hosts, Stephen Clements and Cate Conway took place at the Culloden Estate & Spa. Ambition magazine won the highly coveted Best Publication award in the CIPR Northern Ireland PRide Awards 2017.

The magazine of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry is published by The Ulster Tatler Group. Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry won the Silver winner for Outstanding In-House Public Relations Team. The night also proved unforgettable for Hollywood based company, Smarts Communicate who took home seven Gold Awards, including the coveted Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy Award as well as Seona McGrath winning the Outstanding Young Communicator title.

A Special Award for Contribution to the PR industry was also presented in memory of the late Brian Arlow, accepted by his daughters Katie and Nini Arlow. Sinead Doyle Chair of CIPR Northern Ireland remarked that for a region of its size, Northern Ireland punches well above its weight. Talented individuals and teams with first-class creativity. The Awards celebrate the outstanding professionalism and excellence that puts the Northern Ireland PR industry on the map.

Congratulations are offered to the winners and everyone shortlisted.

Check out the November issue of Ulster Tatler for all the photos and full coverage of the night!

Belfast Culture Night

Belfast’s most anticipated night of the year took place on Friday past with the atmosphere on the night bringing the city to life and creating a buzz of excitement from the City Hall right through to the heart of the Cathedral Quarter. Culture Night is one of the biggest, most inclusive and lively celebrations hosted in Belfast. Now in its ninth year, Culture Night brings together over 300 free events across 150 locations in Belfast City Centre in a single day. The event attracts over 85,000 visitors from Belfast, Northern Ireland and beyond to witness the spectacular culture on show. From live music and performances, to dancing, art, food and drink it was and entertaining night for everyone. Check out our November issue for more photos from the night.

Autumn Fair Returns to Botanic Gardens

Belfast Lord Mayor, Nuala McAllister, invites you all to the city’s beautiful Botanic Gardens for the return of the Belfast Autumn Fair to celebrate this beautiful season.

The fair will take place on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September. Both old and young are encouraged to attend with a wide range of activities taking place that cater to all ages. The entire weekend is free and open to all, with main events running from 12.30pm-6pm each day. There will be live music, local food, face painting, crazy golf and much more…

Don’t miss the chance to witness the captivating street performers, marvel at the award winning floral exhibits or watch the Grand Finale Band Concert. Further details on the events and times are available at 


Hillsborough Businessmen Keep Spirit of Oyster Festival Alive

Following the recent announcement that this year’s 25th Hillsborough International Oyster Festival was cancelled due to funding arrangements, a group of businesspeople from the Hillsborough area have joined forces to host the UPU Plough Fest, a mini festival designed to keep the spirit of the Oyster Festival alive in this ‘gap’ year.

The Plough Inn – owned by Derek, Richard and William Patterson – have joined together with Hillsborough native Philip Orr, Chief Executive of UPU Industries, to stage the event which is scheduled to take place from Thursday 24th – Saturday 26th August at The Plough Inn and will raise funds for next year’s Hillsborough International Oyster Festival.

Activities at the event will include, a pop-up restaurant hosted by internationally renowned Brazilian chef, Andre Lima Luca (Thursday 24th), a salsa evening complete with mojitos on the Friday, plus the main ‘Gin and Jazz’ event on Saturday – kicking off at 1pm.  Guests can enjoy some of the finest local craft gins and take on the UPU Oyster Eating Challenge from 1pm to devour one dozen oysters and a pint of the black stuff, with the fastest person taking home a £1,000 cash prize.  Saturday’s activities will continue late into the night with three live bands lined up to lead the festivities for this ‘festival with a cause’ in The Plough Inn.

For further event information please visit

Derek Patterson, Co-owner, The Plough Inn and Philip Orr, Chief Executive, UPU Industries team up to announce UPU Plough Fest, a three-day mini festival designed to keep the spirit of the Oyster Festival alive in its ‘gap’ year.

Bushmills Collaborates with Local Artists

Bushmills Irish Whiskey has collaborated with two local artists: Urban street artist, Visual Waste (Dean), and tattoo artist, Connor Curran as part of their #AnswerTheCall series which aims to celebrate and inspire artists across the country. Dean has been challenged to take a break from urban murals in favour of fine art which will culminate in an exhibit mirroring the confident and defiant spirit of the Bushmills brand, incorporating the elegance and smoothness of the whiskey.

The concept ‘Whiskey and Muses’ is a Bushmills and Visual Waste collaboration whereby Dean has created an urban interpretation of legendary artists who have inspired his career. The exhibition will take place at The Gallery, Belfast, August 24th – 31st.

Whiskey and art enthusiasts can register for the opportunity to attend the launch event on August 24th where Visual Waste will create a live paint demonstration and unveil the exhibition to friends, media and competition winners with specially curated Black Bush Whiskey cocktails on offer. To be in with a chance to attend the exclusive launch of Whiskey and Muses on August 24th, visit and register at the events section.

Connor then, from Crooked Mile Tattoo is one of the most exciting talents in the current tattoo world. He takes his inspiration from tattoos of the 40s, 50s and 60s and employs his own modern slant bringing old styles into the 21st century. As his #AnswerTheCall challenge, he has collaborated with Bushmills  to create a limited edition ‘Bushmills X Crooked Mile Tattoo’ t-shirt for bar staff across the country. Conceptualised by Connor, the t-shirt design represents the bold and defiant spirit synonymous with Bushmills whilst celebrating the innovative and creative design talent that exists in Northern Ireland. Fifty limited edition bar t-shirts are available to win at via the competition section so seize the opportunity!

Chipping in – Belfast’s Gallery Supports Golfers

The Trendy Dublin Road’s new hotspot The Gallery Cafe/Bar has announced its decision to sponsor three young golfers: Thriston Lawrence, Guido Migliozzi and South African rookie of the year, Christiaan Bezuidenhout in the 2017 Galgorm Resort and Spa Northern Ireland Open, presented by Modest! Golf at Galgorm Castle from August 10-13. The Gallery proprietor, Gary McCausland explained the support saying: “Here at The Gallery we believe in supporting young talent and as a business with cutting edge ideas, it was the perfect fit to support these players at such an iconic, innovative and local golf tournament and we look forward to watching their progress alongside the Modest! Golf team.”

Joint owners of Modest! Golf, director Mark McDonnell and musician Niall Horan joined the young athletes at The Gallery in thanks for their support. McDonnell said: ‘We thank Gary and his team at The Gallery for their sponsorship of our players for this week. We really appreciate the support for our players and look forward to seeing them play at the 201 7 Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open.” Horan added: “We are excited to see how this relationship can develop over the coming years, as we build strong relations with The Gallery and the 2017 Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open. We want to thank Gary for supporting our stable of young players and join him in cheering them on at Galgorm Castle Golf Club on Thursday.”

The selected golfers have impressive accolades already which explain their selection. Lawrence became the youngest ever champion of the South African Amateur Championship in 2013 which he successfully defended in 2014, wining the prestigious Lytham Trophy. Migliozzi is also coming off the back of an impressive amateur career winning both the European Nations Cup and the Duke of York title in 2014 and in 2016 winning the Portuguese International Amateur Championship. Bezuidenhout’s maiden victory as a 22-year-old at the Sun Fish River Challenge in October helped define his rookie season as one of the best in Sunshine Tour history. The three talents are expected to make an impression in the annual professional tournament which attracts thousands of golf fans from around the UK and Ireland.

(From L-R bottom row) Ian Watts, Niall Horan, Gary McCausland and Christen Lawrence. (From L-R top row) Guido Migliozzi, Mark McDonell and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

Ulster Rugby Family Fun Day

Families flocked to Kingspan Stadium on Friday (28th July) to enjoy the sunshine and take advantage of Ulster Rugby’s Family Fun Day.

Individuals had the opportunity to meet the members of the 2017/18 squad as well as enjoying the off pitch activities also available.

These included a petting farm, a climbing wall, archery, a BBQ, rugby skills and inflatables.

The 3 hour family friendly event doubled up to raise much needed funds for Ulster Rugby’s charity partner, Include Youth.

For full coverage of the event see our September issue. On sale Friday 11th August.

Eastside Arts Festival

The Eastside Arts Festival 2017 programme has now been revealed, announcing their plans from the 3rd to 13th of August. East Belfast will be transformed to a hive of creative energy and everyone is invited. You can come along during the eleven-day festival which will be packed full with exciting entertainment including music and words, theatre, film, tours, visual arts, workshops and community events helping to create the perfect opportunity for a day out. The Eastside Arts festival will come to a conclusion with a Family Circus and Big Top weekend, which will ensure that the kids are kept amused.

The purpose of this event is to both help promote the local community and show support for the creative industry, while encouraging the young minds of the future to be creative.

For further information about this festival and when things are happening you can visit their

 Pictured are Ken Fanning and Tina Segner of Tumble Circus with Phil the Pharmacist aka Mary Jordan. Picture by Brian Morrison

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Four female entrepreneurs were recognised at the ‘Women in Business’s Power of 4 Pitch Awards’, which were hosted at the Merchant Hotel.

This event was held as the conclusion to this hugely successful programme, which aimed to engage and support female entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds within Northern Ireland, by providing participants with exclusive peer and 1-2-1 expert mentoring to help carry their ideas from concept to launch.

Participants pitched their ideas to three business leaders including the chair of Women in Business Imelda McMillen from O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors, Angela Moore from Macha Capital Partners and Sorcha Wolsey who is the Operations Director at the Merchant Hotel. The judging panel then analysed and reviewed the feasibility and potential success of each of the candidate’s concepts. With stiff competition across each of the categories the winners included Celine McDonald from ‘Its Soo Me Ltd’ within the ‘Not Yet Trading’ category, Angela Wilson from ‘Silver Apples’ who participated in the ‘Trading Less Than One Year’ category, Niamh Taylor from ‘Digital Twenty Four Limited’ from ‘Trading 12 Months or More’ and finally Claire McMullan from ‘Health Gainz’ received a special award for ‘Innovation’. The winners of the evening received £10,000 between them to invest into furthering the success of their businesses.

Women in Business’s Power of 4 winners, Angela Wilson, Niamh Taylor (left of pic), Celine McDonald and Claire McMullan (right of pic) pictured with judges (left-right centre of pic) Sorcha Wolesy, Angela Moore and Imelda McMillan at the Pitch Awards at the Merchant Hotel.

Roseann Kelly, chief executive of Women in Business commented: “We are delighted that over 70 women to date have benefited from the Po4 programme”. She continued on stating: “As an organisation we are clear in our commitment to supporting and inspiring women – the networking and support created by the Po4 programme will ignite a significant, ongoing legacy and the friendships and alliances the women make will be invaluable.”

Women in Business have established themselves as the largest and fastest growing network for women in business, as they aim to equip women with the vital skills they require to grow their businesses and climb their career ladders. The ‘Power of 4’ programme was proven a success with 70% of participants achieving their goals of transforming their ideas into a reality.