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Australia's Most Stunning New Venues Have Been Announced at the 2020 Eat Drink Design Awards

A regional NSW hotel, an Adelaide wine bar and a Melbourne cafe were among those that took out top honours.
By Libby Curran
November 19, 2020
By Libby Curran
November 19, 2020

In a year where we've all become a little too familiar with our own kitchens and living rooms, the just-announced Eat Drink Design Awards 2020 should help fill a bit of a void. The annual hospitality design accolades have kicked on as normal, despite the pandemic, naming this year's pick of Australia's most stylish food and drink venues.

While 2020 might have delivered fewer new hospitality haunts than usual, this year's awards still identified a cast of beautiful spaces located across the country. Where Melbourne and Victoria reigned supreme among the previous two lineups, this year was all about NSW, with the state claiming five out of the nine design awards. Sydney is home to a number of the recipients, including Surry Hills' Poly as joint winner in the Best Restaurant Design category. The "austerely chic" subterranean space beneath Paramount House Hotel won over the judges with its open kitchen, industrial edge and intelligent fit-out. It shares the title with the contrasting Osteria Tedesca — a relaxed, yet considered farmhouse-inspired restaurant located deep in the wine country of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.

Other Sydneysiders on the lineup include the Darling Exchange Market Hall, which took out the retail design category for its unconventional, new-school food court, and fellow Haymarket resident Dopa — a donburi cafe and milk bar whose playful branding claimed it the title of Best Identity Design.

Further afield, Adelaide's Leigh Street Wine Room nabbed the covetable top gong for Best Bar Design, lauded for its timeless Euro aesthetic, cosy space and impressive use of a small budget. And to check out the winner of the hotel design field, you'll need to venture to Armidale in NSW's northern tablelands, where the Tattersalls Hotel is showing off an award-winning restoration that nods playfully to its glamorous art deco heritage.

Fresh out of lockdown, Melbourne emerged victorious in the cafe design category, with top honours going to Footscray's There Cafe. Here, the lofty wool store space once home to the Lonely Planet HQ has been transformed into a restrainedly sophisticated venue, featuring subtle tones, leather banquettes and considered industrial touches. Melbourne also claimed this year's revered Hall of Fame accolade, for long-running and legendary laneway cocktail bar Gin Palace.

The awards were judged this year by a cast of experts, including Movida's Frank Camorra, restaurant critic Gemima Cody, founder of IF Architecture Iva Foschia, Sydney architect Jonathan Richards and Artichoke editor Cassie Hansen.

Osteria Tedesca by Tommy Miller


Best Bar Design: Leigh Street Wine Room by Studio Gram (Adelaide, SA)
Best Restaurant Design: Poly by Anthony Gill Architects (Surry Hills, NSW) and Osteria Tedesca by COX Architecture (Red Hill, VIC)
Best Cafe Design: There Cafe by Ewert Leaf (Footscray, VIC)
Best Hotel Design: Tattersalls Hotel Armidale by Luchetti Krelle (Armidale, NSW)
Best Installation Design: Orana in Residence by SJB with Orana, Promena Projects and Tracey Deep (Surry Hills, NSW)
Best Retail Design: Darling Exchange Market Hall by Anthony Gill Architects Lendlease Design (base build architects of record) (Haymarket, NSW)
Best Identity Design: Dopa by The Colour Club (Haymarket, NSW)
Hall of Fame: Gin Palace by Skidmark Designs with
 Garner Davis Architects (Melbourne VIC)

For the full list of winners and commendations, head to the Eat Drink Design website.

Top images: There Cafe by Jenah Piwanski, Poly by Kitti Smallbone, Leigh Street Wine Room by Josie Withers, Darling Exchange by Ben Hosking.

Published on November 19, 2020 by Libby Curran
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