The AA highlights the crème de la crème in the hospitality industry with numerous awards to hotels and restaurants across Scotland, Northern Ireland, North Wales, North England and Yorkshire.
TV Presenter Gabby Logan hosted the return of the in-person glittering ceremony – first time in three years – to highlight the stars of the hospitality industry in the AA Hospitality Awards held at Grosvenor House in London.
THE awards recognise the best hospitality establishments in the UK across 26 categories including AA Restaurant of the Year, AA Hotel of the Year, the newly launched AA Accessible Award, AA Spa Hotel of the Year, AA Wine Award, AA Chefs’ Chef, AA Lifetime Achievement Award and AA Housekeeper of the Year.
The coveted Chef’s Chef award was won by Moor Hall chef patron Mark Birchall
Birchall, born in Chorley, Lancashire, was previously the executive chef of two-Michelin Star L’Enclume in Cumbria. He won the premier competition for UK chefs, the Roux Scholarship in 2011 and also worked at El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, a three-Michelin Star restaurant owned by the Roca Brothers – twice voted the world’s best restaurant.
Moor Hall opened in 2017 and within six months was awarded a Michelin Star. The Barn at Moor Hall, Birchall’s casual dining restaurant and bar opened six months later. Within a year, the Hall secured its second Michelin Star.
Birchall, Taste Lancashire’s Ambassador 2019, creates menus in his own style of modern British cuisine, using produce produced on the hall’s five-acre farm or from local suppliers.
Along with the food and drink offering, Moor Hall offers seven luxurious guest bedrooms, each with either views of the lake or gardens.
Also in Lancashire, the Outstanding AA Contribution Award went to Northcote, Langho, for its Obsession food festival.
North Yorkshire hotels scooped up four prestigious awards: Grantley Hall, Ripon won the AA Hotel of the Year Award for England; The Angel at Hetton, the AA Restaurant with Rooms Award for England; Rudding Park, Harrogate took home the inaugural AA Accessible Award and Swinton Estate, Masham won the AA Sustainable Award for a clear commitment to sustainability.
In Scotland it was a Fife eatery that took home AA Restaurant of the Year.
The Michelin Star the Cellar in Anstruther, beat strong competition to win Scotland’s Restaurant of the Year.
Billy Boyter, Chef and Co-Owner of The Cellar Restaurant, said of the award: “Having the Cellar named as the AA’s Restaurant of The Year for Scotland is an incredibly humbling and special moment.”
An AA Inspector said: “The fishing harbour of Anstruther is a fitting location for chef Billy Boyter’s restaurant housed in a 17th-century former smokehouse and cooperage just off the quayside.
“With beamed ceilings, stone walls and wood-burning stoves, the ambience is rustic and Boyter’s inventive modern Scottish cooking sticks faithfully to the seasons on the nine-course tasting menu at dinner (six at lunch).”
The Balmoral in Edinburgh was crowned AA Hotel of the Year, Scotland; The Bonnie Badger in Gullane won the AA Restaurant With Rooms Award, Scotland and UNALOME by Graeme Cheevers in Glasgow won the AA Wine Award, Scotland.
The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat, Templepatrick, County Antrim, scooped the top accolade for Northern Ireland.
Housekeeper of the Year was given to Diane Payne from Rockliffe Hall in Darlington, County Durham
New three Rosettes:
Arkle at Chester Grosvenor, Chester, Cheshire
The Dipping Lugger, Ullapool, Highland.
HAAR, St Andrews, Fife.
The Jackdaw, Conwy
Rafters Restaurant, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
White Swan at Fence, Burnley, Lancashire.
New five Red Stars:
Cameron House on Loch Lomond, Balloch, West Dunbartonshire
The Pig Group was crowned Hotel Group of the Year, with Iconic Luxury Hotels named AA Small Hotel Group of the Year.