Archive for September, 2010

AA Restaurant Guide 2011 Rosette Awards

Posted on: September 27th, 2010 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

The AA Restaurant Guide is coming of age. The 2011 edition marks the guide’s 18th year as a stand alone guide advising the British public on the best places to eat. From country inns on wild moors to city-centre hotels handy for a spot of retail therapy; and from lively bistros on local high streets to destination restaurants of international standing the guide provides diners with all the information they need when choosing where to eat.

Over 1,900 establishments are included in the guide, all graded from 1 to 5 Rosettes by an AA inspector. Each restaurant comes with detailed, clear descriptions of the venue and the type of food served.

In the guide’s 18 years it has seen many changes in the restaurant industry, and while some restaurants, such as Le Gavroche, have been long standing inclusions in the guide, each year there are new restaurants, such as Galvin La Chapelle, making their debut.

The guide also carries details of the sought after AA Restaurant of the Year award for England, Scotland, Wales and London. The AA Chefs’ Chef award, voted for by AA Rosette awarded chefs is also included, plus the AA Wine Awards for England, Scotland and Wales alongside over 100 notable wine list symbols awarded to the runners up. The award winners will all be announced at the AA Hospitality Awards 2010 on September 27 2010.

As well as the diverse range of restaurants the guide also features a selection of interesting articles about the UK dining scene. One of these articles examines how the rise of the 24/7 lifestyle, with open all hours shopping, has led to the emergence of all day dining with more and more restaurants now offering diners the option to eat from early in the morning to late at night.

The importance of good service is explored in the guide, highlighting that a meal out is about more than just the food, with the quality of service and the overall dining experience being as important as the food itself.


The AA has announced the most recent additions to its higher Rosette awards on Monday night at the glamorous AA Hospitality Awards 2010, hosted by Penny Smith at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Achieving the highest culinary accolade of five AA Rosettes, L’Enclume in Cumbria has been acknowledged by the AA for its unforgettable fine dining experience. Chef patron Simon Rogan offers groundbreaking cuisine that is inventive and innovative, stretching boundaries by looking at unusual flavour combinations and championing local suppliers and producers to bring the highest quality ingredients to the table. Tastes, textures and fragrances are key, with careful research and experimentation creating dishes that are daring, imaginatively presented, and not without a touch of humour and element of surprise.


The new four AA Rosette-awarded restaurants for 2010 are:

· The Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey

· The Kitchin, Edinburgh

· Northcote, Langho


The new three AA Rosette-awarded restaurants for 2010 are:

•1901 Restaurant at Andaz Hotel, London EC2

•21212, Edinburgh

•The Alderley Restaurant at Alderley Edge Hotel, Alderley Edge

•Apsleys at the Lanesborough, London SW1

•The Ardanaiseig Hotel, Kilchrenan

•Aubergine, London SW10

•Colette’s at The Grove, Rickmansworth

•Le Gallois-Y-Cymro, Cardiff

•Galvin La Chapelle, London E1

•The Green Inn, Ballater

•Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher

•Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel, Windermere

•Homewood Park Hotel, Hinton Charterhouse

•Kitchen W8, London W8

•Launceston Place Restaurant, London W8

•Love’s Restaurant, Birmingham

•The Oak Room at Great Fosters, Egham

•The Olive Tree at the Queensberry Hotel, Bath

•Paris House Restaurant, Woburn

•Pétrus, London SW1

•Restaurant Alimentum, Cambridge

•Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock

•Seven Park Place by William Drabble at St James’ Hotel and Club, London SW1

•Sketch (The Gallery), London W1

•The Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury

•Wild Honey, London W1

AA Hotel Services Group Area Manager Giovanna Grossi said: “We are very impressed with the quality of this year’s winners, who have demonstrated intense ambition and a passion for excellence, as well as superb technical skills and innovative menus. It is encouraging and refreshing to see that there are a number of establishments that continue to raise the standards and encourage excellence in the industry.”

Attended by world-renowned chefs, prominent hoteliers, hospitality gurus and key industry media, the AA Hospitality Awards recognise and reward the excellent services provided by the UK ’s very best establishments and high achieving individuals, and launch the 2011 AA guides to UK hotels and restaurants.

This year, guests were treated to a sensational three course gourmet meal created by five AA Rosette-awarded chef Marcus Wareing in conjunction with the Hilton Park Lane kitchen team, as well as a special performance by multi-million record selling and twice-Brit Award winner Heather Small, formerly of M People.

Other AA Hospitality Awards 2010 – 2011 winners were:

AA Hotel of the Year England – Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Wiltshire

AA Hotel of the Year Scotland – Boath House, Nairn, Highland

AA Hotel of the Year Wales – The Imperial Hotel, Llandudno

AA Hotel of the Year London – The Royal Horseguards, London

AA Restaurant of the Year England – The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Marlborough, Wiltshire AA Restaurant of the Year

Scotland – The Peat Inn, Fife

AA Restaurant of the Year Wales – The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

AA Restaurant of the Year London – Galvin La Chapelle , London

AA Wine Award England (sponsored by T&W Wines) – Hambleton Hall, Oakham, Rutland AA Wine Award Scotland

(sponsored by T&W Wines) – The Kitchin, Leith, Edinburgh

AA Wine Award Wales (sponsored by T&W Wines) – Fairyhill, Reynoldston, Swansea

AA Pub of the Year England – The Black Swan at Oldstead, Oldstead, North Yorkshire

AA Pub of the Year Scotland – The Sun Inn, Eskbank, Edinburgh

AA Pub of the Year Wales – The Swan Inn, Little Haven, Haverfordwest

AA Chef’s Chef of the Year (sponsored by – Martin Wishart

AA Small Hotel Group of the Year (sponsored by beacon) – Apex Hotels

AA Hotel Group of the Year – Marriott Hotels

AA Eco Hotel of the Year (sponsored by British Gas Business) – The Scarlet, Cornwall

AA Eco Hotel Group of the Year (sponsored by British Gas Business) – Elite Hotels

AA Lifetime Achievement – George Goring OBE


The AA Restaurant Rosette Criteria Defined (Reminder as per 2009)

One rosette

Chefs should display a mastery of basic techniques and be able to produce dishes of sound quality and clarity of flavours, using good, fresh ingredients.

Two rosettes

Innovation, greater technical skill and more consistency and judgement in combining and balancing ingredients are all needed at this level.

Three rosettes

This award takes a restaurant into the big league. Expectations of the kitchen are high: exact technique, flair and imagination must come through in every dish, and balance and depth of flavour are all-important.

Four rosettes

At this level, not only should all technical skills be exemplary, but there should also be daring ideas, and they must work. There is no room for disappointment. Flavours should be accurate and vibrant.

Five rosettes

The supreme accolade awarded only when the cooking is at the pinnacle of achievement. Flavours, combinations and textures show a faultless sense of balance, giving each dish an extra dimension.

Which? Good Food Guide: Press Release (2010)

Posted on: September 16th, 2010 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood


Good Food Guide 2010This year The Good Food Guide has expanded its list of the Top 40 UK restaurants to a Top 50* as so many up-and-coming UK chefs are making
the grade.

There’s been an upsurge of 7/10** scores in this year’s Guide, given for a “high level of ambition and individuality”. Fraiche in Merseyside (30th) is one such new entry. Chef Marc Wilkinson’s cooking shows impressive technical ability: “None too shabby” is the understated verdict of one Guide reader.

There are some strong contenders scoring 6/10 too, including restaurants such as The Sportsman in Whitstable, a no-frills pub with a sophisticated kitchen. Its score has improved from 5/10 to 6/10**, and chef Stephen Harris, who has been given this year’s Best Chef award, is praised for his “brilliant,
idiosyncratic” cooking.

There are also positive signs for the future, with a number of young chefs punching above their weight. Robert Thompson at the Hambrough, Isle of Wight (7/10, 37th) and Will Holland at La Bécasse, Ludlow (6/10, 50th) are both still in their twenties yet their cooking has made the big league.

It’s business as usual at the top of the table, with the Fat Duck at number 1 (scoring an impeccable 10/10** for the second year running) and Gordon Ramsay at number 2. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley is third and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons is fourth.

But the Guide’s editor says things could be set to change with such an explosion of new talent. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (8/10**, 10th) has made the Top 10 for the first time and chefs like James Atherton at Maze (8/10, 11th) are snapping at the heels of the frontrunners.

Elizabeth Carter, editor of The Good Food Guide, says:

There are so many great British restaurants hitting their stride at the moment that we just had to expand to a Top 50. Despite the credit crunch, the British restaurant scene has never been so vibrant.

The Good Food Guide 2010 Top 50

1. Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire (10/10)  2. Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road, London (9)  3. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London (8)
4. Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire (8)  5. The Square, London (8)  6. Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucs (8)
7. Le Gavroche, London (8)  8. The Vineyard at Stockcross, Berkshire (8)  9. Pied-à-Terre, London (8)
10. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (8)  11. Maze, London (8)  12. Tom Aikens, London (8)
13. L’Enclume, Cumbria (8)  14. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (8)  15. The Capital, London (7)
16. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)  17. Bohemia, St Helier, Jersey (7)  18. Hibiscus, London (7)
19. Danesfield House, Bucks (7)  20. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, London (new) (7)  21. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham (7)
22. Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon (7)  23. Holbeck Ghyll, Cumbria (7)  24. Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire (7)
25. Antony’s Leeds, Yorkshire (7)  26. Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire (7)  27. Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Scotland (7)
28. Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey (7)  29. Whatley Manor, Wiltshire (7)  30. Fraiche, Merseyside (new) (7)
31. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Wales (7)  32. Mr Underhill’s, Shropshire (7)  33. Murano, London (new) (7)
34. Midsummer House, Cambridge (new) (7)  35. Hambleton Hall, Leics (7)  36. The Crown at Whitebrook, Wales (7)
37. Robert Thompson at the Hambrough, Isle of Wight (new) (7)  38. The Creel, Scotland (7)  39. Harry’s Place, Lincs (7)
40. The Old Vicarage, Derbyshire (7)  41. The Ledbury, London (new) (7)  42. The Greenhouse, London (6)
43. Club Gascon, London (6)  44. The Kitchin, Edinburgh (6)  45. Galvin at Windows, London (new) (6)
46. The Sportsman, Kent (new)(6) 47. Purnell’s Birmingham, West Midlands (new)(6)  48. The Yorke Arms, Yorkshire (new)(6)
49. ramsons, Greater Manchester (new) (6)  50. La Bécasse, Shropshire (new) (6)

The Which? Good Food Guide 2010 – Scoring System Explained

**10/10 An extremely rare accolade given to a restaurant producing perfect dishes on a consistent basis; 9/10 Cooking that
has reached a pinnacle of achievement, making a hugely memorable experience for the diner; 8/10 A kitchen cooking close to
or at the top of its game showing faultless technique and impressive artistry; 7/10 High level of ambition and individuality,
attention to the smallest detail, accurate and vibrant dishes; 6/10 Exemplary cooking skills, innovative ideas, impeccable
ingredients and an element of excitement.

The Good Food Guide 2010 can be ordered on 01903 828557 (£16.99, p&p free)
or at or bought from bookshops.