This must be the season for awards. A few days ago I was lucky enough to be presented with the first ever "Diamond Award" by the Academy of Food & Wine Service which, they told me, is awarded to an outstanding personality in the hotel and catering industry. At last, my struggle with self-effacing shyness is nearly over.
The academy is best known for promoting careers in hospitality and plays a major part in helping talented individuals to progress through formal training www.afws.co.uk
Then, barely a fornight later, I found myself on stage receiving an award on behalf of its winner, Jeremy Goring, owner of longstanding Pride of Britain member, The Goring Hotel, who was away on a sales trip abroad at the time. He won the coveted "Independent Hotelier of the Year 2012" awarded on the occasion of the Independent Hotel Show at Olympia. Rick Stein made the presentation and listed the other shortlisted nominees who included Paul Milsom, chairman of Essex based Milsom Hotels. To quote the organisers, this award is "in celebration of the figure that has made a significant impact on the independent, luxury and boutique hotel industry".
Congratulations Mr Goring!