AA Restaurant Guide 2012 Press Release

Posted on: November 18th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

Tuesday 27 September 2011,  The UK’s Top Restaurants Get Recognition As The AA Announces New Higher Rosette Awards.

The AA announced the latest restaurants to achieve the higher Rosette awards at the AA Hospitality Awards hosted by Sophie Raworth at the London Hilton Park Lane on Monday 26th September.

A restaurants food quality is assessed by the AA inspectorate, who award AA Rosettes to establishments demonstrating mastery and excellence in this field. The achievement of five Rosettes is the pinnacle for any chef, and identifies the finest restaurants in the British Isles, where the cooking stands comparison with the best in the world. These restaurants have highly individual voices, exhibit breathtaking culinary skills and set the standards to which others aspire.

Achieving the highest culinary award of five AA Rosettes was The Latymer at Pennyhill Park  in Bagshot, Surrey. The Latymer restaurant is overseen by chef Michael Wignall who has an impressive track record having cooked at Michaels Nook and the Devonshire Arms.

Michael joined Pennyhill Park in 2007 and since then The Latymer has been completely refurbished including the addition of an eight-seater chef’s table so you can enjoy the tasting menu while watching the action in the kitchen. Four years on and having achieved four AA Rosettes in 2009, Michael’s food now has moved further on to the ultimate level. The cooking style is complex but delivered with immaculate precision. Depth of flavour is stunning, presentation beautiful and each dish is full of texture, vibrancy and excitement. Michael Wignall takes a highly technical, modern approach to his craft: dishes are complex, but based on classical themes, delivering light, elegant food with clear, intense flavours and exciting textures.

The new AA four Rosette-awarded restaurants for 2011-2012 are:

Glenapp Castle –  Ballantrae

• Ocean Restaurant at the Atlantic Hotel  – St Brelade

The new AA three Rosette-awarded restaurants for 2011 – 2012 are:

• Castle Terrace Restaurant  – Edinburgh

• Coworth Park  – Ascot

• Montagu Arms  – Beaulieu

• The Crown at Whitebrook  – Whitebrook

• Dinner by Heston Blumenthal  – London

• Feversham Arms  – Helmsey

• Fishmore Hall  – Ludlow

• Pollen Street Social  – London

• Roux at Parliament Square  – London

• Saddleworth Hotel  – Delph

• Theo Randall  – London

• Thornton Hall  – Thornton

AA Hotel Services manager, Simon Numphud, 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”.

The AA Hospitality Awards bring together some of the most influential people within the hospitality industry to recognise the outstanding accomplishments of high-achieving AA establishments and individuals. The award event also sees the launch of the 2012 AA guides to UK hotels and restaurants, which contain details of all the winning establishments.

Guests were treated to a magnificent gourmet meal created by five AA Rosette-awarded chef Pierre Gagnaire  in conjunction with the Hilton Park Lane kitchen team, and were entertained by Britain’s Got Talent stars Out of the Blue.  Selection is made based on overall excellence and the specific achievements throughout the previous year.

The complete list of AA Hospitality Awards 2011 – 2012 winners is:

 AA Hotel of the Year England – Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere

AA Hotel of the Year Scotland – Blythswood Square, Glasgow

 AA Hotel of the Year Wales – St Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot

 AA Hotel of the Year London (sponsored by AA Business Insurance) – The Savoy, WC2

 AA Restaurant of the Year England – The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

 AA Restaurant of the Year Scotland – Gordon’s Restaurant, Inverkeilor

 AA Restaurant of the Year Wales – The Crown at Whitebrook

 AA Restaurant of the Year London (sponsored by AA Business Insurance) – Terroirs, WC4

 AA Wine Award England (sponsored by T&W Wines) – La Trompette, London W4

 AA Wine Award Scotland (sponsored by T&W Wines) – Rhubarb – the Restaurant at Prestonfield, Edinburgh

 AA Wine Award Wales & Overall (sponsored by T&W Wines) – The Bell at Skenfrith

 AA Pub of the Year England (sponsored by Karcher) – The Feathered Nest Inn, Newther Westcote

 AA Pub of the Year Scotland (sponsored by Karcher) – The Café Royal, Edinburgh

 AA Pub of the Year Wales (sponsored by Karcher) – The White Hart Village Inn, Llangybi

 AA Small Hotel Group of the Year (sponsored by Beacon) – Warner Leisure Hotels

 AA Hotel Group of the Year – Thistle Hotels

 AA Eco Hotel of the Year (sponsored by British Gas Business) – Lancaster London, W2

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

 AA Chefs’ Chef (sponsored by Caterer.com) – Chris and Jeff Galvin

AA Lifetime Achievement – Peter Lederer CBE


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.