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.
RECOGNITION FOR TOP UK RESTAURANTS AS THE AA ANNOUNCES THE ADDITIONS TO ITS HIGHER ROSETTE AWARDS
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
•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 Caterer.com) – 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)
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.
Innovation, greater technical skill and more consistency and judgement in combining and balancing ingredients are all needed at this level.
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.
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.
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.