The White Cliffs Hotel is vying for an Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW Award for Excellence in the Best Bush Pub Category. The pub has been named a finalist along with the Armatree Hotel in Armatree, Moonan Flat Pub in Moonan Flat, and the Peel Inn Hotel in Nundle. The award is sponsored by Independent Liquor Retailers.
The winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday night. Publicans Sarah Ker and Matt Young plan to attend the event in person.
For Ms Ker and Mr Young, this nomination highlights an exciting chapter as new business owners. They took over the pub on July 1 of the previous year.
Ms Ker told the Truth she originally hails from White Cliffs and attended the local school. When the pub became available for purchase, she said, “I thought why not, and we pooled our resources together and purchased the Hotel.”
“I really love White Cliffs and wanted to stay here,” she added, explaining her decision.
Ms Ker also mentioned that the pub was established around 1893. It has enjoyed nearly continuous trade, except for a fire that destroyed the original establishment circa 1953.
Upon receiving a suggestion to nominate the pub for the award from an AHA representative, Ms Ker thought, “why not,” citing that the representative “had been hearing really good things about the hotel.”
Ms Ker believes the nomination has already proven beneficial. If the hotel wins on Tuesday night, it will mark the first time, to her knowledge, that the pub has won an AHA award.
The AHA has presented the Best Bush Pubs Award category since 2017. The Silverton Hotel claimed the inaugural award that year.
Publicans Peter and Patsy Price, who won the 2017 award, felt privileged to have been honoured. “It’s probably been the buzz of my life to stand up in front of 1,500 people and accept the award; it was a very proud moment,” Mr Price told the Truth.
Mr Price extended congratulations to the White Cliffs Hotel on their nomination and wished them well for Tuesday night, predicting they will savour the exceptional experience.