JUST DESSERTS: Plantations restaurant manager Chantelle Kelly with the award for Best Casual Dining venue.
JUST DESSERTS: Plantations restaurant manager Chantelle Kelly with the award for Best Casual Dining venue. Cordell Richardson

Popular Ipswich pub wins best in state

A SUBURBAN Ipswich pub has been named the best in the state.

Plantations dining at Prince Alfred Hotel at Booval won the prestigious best casual dining award at the annual Queensland Hotel Association Awards for Excellence this month.

It comes after the pub won the Overall Hotel of the Year in the regional category at the Australian Hotels Association national awards last year.

The pub is an icon at Booval, setting the scene for a suburban dining and craft beer mecca - and it has been for close to 200 years.

The hotel has one of the oldest licences in Queensland, with first drinks served 175 years ago.

General manager Peter Coultas said the award was the result of a combination of good food and quality service.

"Casual dining is fairly informal but offering a variety of items on the menu but obviously the staff are very important part of winning that award," he said.

"Plantations has consistency in the style of food they are serving and it's a quality, affordable range of items on the menu.

"That's the biggest thing Plantations stands out for."

The Prince Alfred Hotel was the first in Queensland to branch away from the traditional suburban pub format 20 years ago.

Owners Clive and Mary-Anne Johnson took over the iconic watering hole more than 30 years ago.

"Clive and Mary-Anne had the vision that hotels should be a little bit more than the public bar, so let's put a coffee shop inside. Plantations has been a hit and a part of the local landscape for over 20 years now," Mr Coultas said.

"They've always thought that hotels should present food and beverages outside of the normal hotel model and they've developed the hotel along those lines, to provide the community with a great dining venue, a great meeting venue and to be ahead of the market.

"They've always been leaders and not followers in the industry."

Mr Coultas said the Charr'd restaurant was named after the pub's history.

"It has caught fire a couple of times and has been re-built. Any hotel at some point seems to have a fire issues. We have the original cold room here that still has the singe marks around it, hence then name of Charr'd," he said.

"We are grateful for the support because without the customers we wouldn't be where we are today. We hope to keep it fresh for them and keep developing."



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