THE creme de la creme of Southampton's pubs, clubs and bars were commended last night in a glitzy award ceremony.

Licensees from across the city gathered to celebrate the second Best Bar None scheme, which rewards those who strive to ensure their premises are a safe and vibrant place for customers.

More than 400 guests attended the Oscar-style event at St Mary's Stadium, which began with a lavish drinks reception.

The Daily Echo-backed event organised by Southampton City Council and local police and sponsored by city drinks company Bacardi Brown, saw a host of venues celebrating after scooping the sought after awards.

Winners included The Hobbit for Best Pub, Mono for Best Bar and Icon/Diva for Best Club.

Two new gongs were also up for grabs in this year's event - The Daily Echo Readers' Award, in which hundreds of people voted online for their favourite venue, and Best Local Pub. Both categories were won by The Gordon Arms in Portswood.

But it was the final award for the night, which left the guests sitting on the edge of their seats, and it was Mono that in the end scooped the title of Best Bar None 2007.

Power FM DJ Lloydy and Saints star Matt Le Tissier hosted the black-tie event, in which 93 venues also received accreditation for proving their premises had policies and procedures in place that deal with prevention of crime and disorder, managing underage drinking issues and health and safety. Matt entertained his audience with stories from his footballing days at Southampton.

Southampton police licensing boss Inspector Stewart Chandler, said the huge turnout - which received the best response in the country outside of Manchester where Best Bar None was first launched - was an achievement to be proud of.