Celebrations were on the cards for the husband and wife team behind Wexford town restaurant La Côte when they took the spoils in the Fine Dining category at the Hotel and Catering Review Gold Medal Awards in Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny.
The quay front restaurant, which is owned and run by chef Paul Hynes and his wife Edwina, has been nominated for awards in this competition on previous occasions but Edwina explained that this was the first year they won one, taking the title of Ireland's Fine Dining Restaurant in what was a very competitive field.
Interested participants fill out an application form and are subsequently visited by a mystery diner, who is always an expert in the catering industry.
Edwina said: 'We're blown away by the win. To be recognised by something as prestigious as the Hotel and Catering Magazine, which is in business for over 30 years, it's incredible.'
La Côte was entered in the Fine Dining category and also the Best Chef category, which Paul was short-listed for, alongside Michelin Star chefs.
Edwina explained that it was only after they won the award that the mystery diner made himself known, contacting them on Twitter to congratulate them.
'It's fantastic for our team, both in the kitchen and on the floor - our customer service was complimented as well as the food so really the award was won in the front and back of the restaurant.'
There were two other Wexford winners: The Duck Restaurant in Marlfield House was named Ireland's Hotel Casual Dining Experience; while Aldridge Lodge in Duncannon won the Ireland's Menu Provenance Award.