Three northern restaurants achieved a prestigious Four Rosettes this week, but who else did well?
Earlier this week, in a glittering awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London, the AA celebrated the best hotels, restaurants and pubs across the United Kingdom. The long-established Rosette scheme recognises culinary accomplishment at different levels across the UK.
The chef, who has won a Michelin star at every restaurant in which he has manned the kitchen since the early 90s, took over the top job just over a year ago.
Restaurants are visited by an AA inspector who decides whether they will achieve Rosettes based on the whole dining experience. As well as the Rosettes, 23 special gongs are also dished out to honour outstanding establishments. While the awards are heavily weighted around London and the South, celebrations are in order for a number of northern operations.
New 'Four Rosettes' rankings for three restaurants in the North
In the North, there were three new recipients of the prestigious Four Rosettes. Firstly, Hipping Hall, Lancaster, where Oli Martin has been going strong as head chef for five years, whose classic but intricate menus celebrate the produce of the surrounding landscapes from Morecambe Bay to the Forest of Bowland. Martin is also the first Masterchef: The Professionals finalist to achieve Four Rosettes.
He said, “Four AA Rosettes is something myself and the team have been working towards for the last few years now and I couldn’t be happier to see the determination and hard work finally pay off.
Martin previously worked at the restaurant Gilpin Lodge, now known as Hrishi at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere which also bagged a fourth Rosette this year. Named for head chef Hrishikesh Desai who was born in Maharashtra, India, this Lake District gem stands out from the crowd with modern British menus that feature subtle nods to Asian cuisine.
The recently refurbished Angel at Hetton in Yorkshire is the third restaurant in the North that has made the leap to Four Rosettes this year. The very well respected chef Michael Wignall, who has won a Michelin star at every restaurant in which he has manned the kitchen since the early 90s, took over the top job at The Angel just over a year ago.
The Academy at Cheshire College wins College Restaurant of the Year
This award, which was introduced in 2016, has been developed in conjunction with AA partners People 1st to recognise accredited colleges within the AA College Rosette Scheme that have shown outstanding achievements in a realistic working environment. The Academy at Cheshire Colleges South & West beat off competition from finalists in Cornwall and Milton Keynes.
This is the second time the college has won the award. A spokesperson for the academy said 'We’re overwhelmed – it means the world to us but it’s not just us three, we’re three members representing a bigger team, the college, our industry and our members.'
We look forward to seeing the chefs that are currently in training at the academy go on to achieve even more great things.
Robin Sheppard of Bespoke Hotels awarded for a lifetime of achievement
The Lifetime achievement award went to Robin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels whose 200+ properties include The Chester Grosvenor as well as Manchester hotels the multi award-winning Hotel Gotham, The Townhouse on Portland Street and the upcoming Brooklyn Hotel also due to open on Portland Street in Spring 2020. This award 'recognises professionals within the hospitality industry who have committed their lives to the pursuit of perfection within their discipline.'
Robin is also the Government’s Hospitality Sector Champion for Disabled People. He has fought back from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a totally paralysing illness. His slow recovery inspired him to launch the Bespoke Access Awards in conjunction with RIBA encouraging better design and empathy from architects, interior designers and hospitality professionals alike.
Robin Sheppard commented: 'I just got married, and it doesn’t get any better to spend the second night of your honeymoon winning a lifetime achievement award, so I’m thrilled to bits, astonished and just absolutely delighted.'
And just over the border in North Wales, there's a new pub of the year
Not too far for a new dinner destination for you (and your dog) if you live in the North of England, The Glynne Arms, Hawarden, Flintshire has been awarded Welsh pub of the year. Co owned by Caroline and Charlie Gladtone whose great-great grandfather was 19th-century prime minister Sir William Ewart Gladstone who married into Hawarden Castle's Glynne dynasty. Provenance doesn’t get much more local or reliable with theirs being sourced from their very own Estate Farm Shop just minutes away.
The full list of AA Hospitality Awards 2019 Winners
Chefs’ Chef: Jason Atherton
Restaurant of the Year:
- England – Fordwich Arms, Canterbury
- London – Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown, London, E9
- Wales – Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, Colwyn Bay
- Scotland – Sugar Boat, Helensburgh
Pub of the Year:
- England – Three Daggers, Edington
- Wales – Glynne Arms, Hawarden
- Scotland – Meikleour Arms Public House, Perth
Lifetime Achievement Award Robin Sheppard, Chairman, Bespoke Hotels
- Overall Winner –Hampton Manor, Solihull
- Regional Awards:
Food Service Award: The Ritz, London
College Restaurant of the Year: Academy, Cheshire Colleges South & West, Cheshire
New 5 Rosettes
- Lympstone Manor, Exmouth
New 4 Rosettes
- Coworth Park, Ascot
- Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead
- Hipping Hall, Lancaster
- Hrishi at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere
- Old Downton Lodge, Ludlow
- Roganic, London
- Sorrel, Dorking
- The Angel at Hetton, Hetton
- The Greenhouse, London
- The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury