AA Restaurant and Hotel Awards 2011-2012 announced

Sophie Raworth with AA Chefs’ Chef winners Chris and Jeff Galvin

Sophie Raworth with AA Chefs’ Chef winners Chris and Jeff Galvin

The UK’s hospitality industry came together yesterday to recognise the best of the best at the AA Hospitality Awards 2011.  With a guest list that read like a who’s who of the hospitality world, the awards ceremony saw some of the top hoteliers in the country mingle with the best pub landlords, hospitality gurus and world renowned chefs.  The awards, hosted by Sophie Raworth at the London Hilton on Park Lane, saw 20 establishments and individuals receiving recognition for outstanding excellence in their field, including The Latymer at Pennyhill Park being the only new recipient of the ultimate accolade of 5 AA Rosettes.  Now one of only eight restaurants of this calibre it places it alongside other eminent restaurants as Heston Blumenthal’s ‘The Fat Duck’ and Raymond Blanc’s ‘Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons’

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, restaurants, pubs and b&b which contain details of all the winning establishments.

The winners of the AA Hospitality Awards 2011 were:

New Multi Rosette Restaurants

Five AA Rosettes (The AA’s highest culinary accolade)

The Latymer now is one of only eight others to enjoy this award

Four AA Rosettes

Three AA Rosettes

New Red Star Hotels

Five AA Red Stars

Four AA Red Stars

Three AA Red Stars

Two Red Stars

AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year (sponsored by Caterer.com)

A unique award that offers all AA Rosette-awarded chefs the chance to decide which of their peers deserves the ultimate recognition.

  • Winner: Chris and Jeff Galvin – The AA multi-Rosetted chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin run Galvin Restaurants, a family run collection of French restaurants founded in 2005.  It is not difficult to see why the Galvin brothers are so well respected in the industry.  They are both committed, hard working, totally hands on, passionate about developing young people and above all very modest and humble.

AA Restaurant of the Year

While the standard of cuisine is at the very heart of the selection criteria for these awards, innovation, ambience, and hospitality are all part of the equation that determines the eventual winners.

  • Winner, England: The Hand & Flowers, MarlowLocated in the beautiful Georgian town of Marlow, The Hand & Flowers was opened in March 2005.  Since opening, hands on owners, Tom & Beth Kerridge, have worked tirelessly to put the Hand & Flowers on the culinary map. The quality of food is excellent and highly consistent, maintaining three Rosettes for many years now. The team continuously work hard to provide a warm welcome and ensure that the produce is of the highest standard.
  • Winner, Scotland: Gordon’s Restaurant, InverkeilorThe two Rosette-awarded restaurant is a true family run-business. This 24 seat restaurant is ideal for a relaxed intimate dining experience which complements the personal style of cooking utilising Scottish seasonal produce, cooked simply and imaginatively. Slick artistic presentation and fine ingredients add up to superb tasting beautiful dishes. The passion for good food is as evident today as ever.
  • Winner, Wales: The Crown at WhitebrookThis outstanding three AA Rosette-awarded restaurant has the superbly talented and gifted Welsh born Executive Head Chef James Sommerin in charge in the kitchen where he lives and breathes fine food, creating supremely imaginative and unfailingly stunning masterpiece dishes in his kitchen.  The exceptional food is teamed with flawless service, an impressive wine list and a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
  • Winner, London (sponsored by AA Business Insurance): Terroirs, WC4 – At Terroirs it is all about food and wine which is natural and free of additives as well as about artisan products that taste simply of their origin. It is about serving food and wine in a fun, friendly and stimulating environment and it is about the people who return to Terroirs and bring with them that sense of enjoyment and pleasure.

AA Hotel of the Year

Introduced in 1992, and awarded to hotels that are recognised as being outstanding examples in their particular market.

  • Winner, England: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, WindermereA beautiful hotel set in 22 acres of country gardens, moors and woodland. Having achieved and maintained four Red Stars since 2007, the hotel has shown consistency in the kitchen as well, with three AA Rosettes achieved yearly from 1997 to the present day.The Lake House is also a stunning addition to the main hotel with bedrooms of the highest quality.
  • Winner, Scotland: Blythswood Square, Glasgow – The newest addition to The Town House Collection, Blythswood Square has created a lot of excitement in Glasgow and indeed Scotland as it houses not only 100 bedrooms, including suites and a luxurious penthouse, but also a stunning Restaurant, Salon and the city’s first urban Spa. It is ideally located in Blythswood Square, the only remaining green space in the city centre, whilst being close to all the main transport links, shops, attractions and nightlife.
  • Winner, Wales: St Brides Spa Hotel, SaundersfootSt Brides is a contemporary destination spa hotel, standing tall on a headland in Pembrokeshire, with breathtaking views of Saundersfoot Harbour. St Brides has been transformed from what was once a traditional seaside hotel into a luxury escape retreat with stylish décor and artwork throughout. The building has been sympathetically converted to create facilities aimed at the spa connoisseur, business groups, contemporary art enthusiasts and ‘foodies’ alike, providing the perfect retreat to relax and unwind.
  • Winner, London (sponsored by AA Business Insurance): The Savoy – A British icon since 1889, The Savoy has once again taken its place on the world stage after over a £100 million restoration. The hotel seamlessly blends elements of the original and the new while the stunning English Edwardian and Art Deco interiors sparkle with timeless elegance and glamour.

AA Lifetime Achievement

This award recognises a lifetime commitment to the pursuit of perfection within their discipline. Along with the highest quality of service and standards, a track record of constant improvement and an unswerving dedication.

Winner: Peter Lederer CBE – With a career spanning over 40 years, Peter has and continues to make a significant contribution to the industry through his various roles and commitments. In 1984 he joined Gleneagles as General Manager, 3 years later was appointed Managing Director and became chairman in 2007. In those 27 years he has been instrumental in developing Gleneagles into a world class resort hotel.

AA Wine Award (sponsored by T&W Wines)

Nominees are judged on the quality of their wine list and their ability to inspire customers to make wider and more adventurous choices.

Winner, England: La Trompette, London W4  La Trompette provides guests with an eclectic mix of wine at a broad price range. Recent changes in the economy have led guests to look further afield for value for money which has thrust their list to the forefront of guests minds.   Where previously they had perhaps not looked beyond Burgundy and Bordeaux in a restaurant such as this they have now started to relish the rest of the list.

Winner, Scotland: Rhubarb – the Restaurant at Prestonfield, EdinburghRhubarb – the Restaurant at Prestonfield’s wine list is in a different league. It offers great wine choices and mouth watering selections; there is strength and depth throughout the list with great notes, which provide so much information.

Winner, Wales & Overall: The Bell at Skenfrith The Bell has a truly remarkable wine list, which is difficult to put down and the astonishing list that is full of passion and personality.  There are great wine choices on every page, illustrated with both witty and engaging pictures.

Guests were treated to a magnificent gourmet meal created by five AA Rosette-awarded chef Pierre Gagnaire from Sketch in conjunction with the Hilton Park Lane kitchen team.