Take your hat off to 2 Oak St
By MEL MARTIN
TONI Urquhart was stoked enough about No. 2 Oak Street scoring a hat-trick in foodies' bible The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide but when she heard she had also won one of six prestigious awards, she was floored.
"We frocked up and went down to Sydney for the announcement dinner," Toni said.
"Once they said we were getting the hat, we thought that was fantastic because we're the only restaurant with a 'hat' between Newcastle and Byron Bay.
"We didn't think any more about it, just enjoyed our dinner, then when the major awards were read out, and I heard my name, I couldn't believe it! Everyone thought I'd won the lottery."
Toni jumped to the stage to accept the award, where the first words out of her mouth were 'oh, shit'.
She then became speechless, which, as anyone who knows Toni would tell you, is a very rare event indeed.
In its eighth year in the Good Food Guide and third year with a hat, No. 2 Oak Street received a score of 15 out of 20, with the hat signifying a reliably good restaurant, and a wine glass recognising an exceptional wine list.
'. . . no one can make you feel quite so at home as Toni Urquhart, who welcomes you like a long-lost friend to her beautifully restored 1910 cottage', the guide reads.
Toni received the Silver Service Award 'for enthusiastic, charming, genuine, warm-hearted country hospitality and being a great sommelier to boot'.
To Toni, it's simply about treating everyone with a special touch.
"It's like me having a dinner party every night in my own home, with different guests," she said.
And Toni's special kind of service became obvious as the Coffs Coast Advocate interviewed her while the restaurant was shut.
A woman walked up to Toni and handed her a small bag of goodies.
"Lovely," Toni said, "I'll put them on a plate and present them nicely for him, and I'll sing happy birthday, too!"
Now what more could you want?