The great and good of the country’s hospitality industry were out in force last night at the AA Hospitality Awards. Twenty four award winners were celebrating after being presented with their coveted titles at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane including a new award for this year, The AA Spirit Award.
Often referred to as the industry’s ‘Oscars’ the AA Hospitality Awards is a key date on everyone’s calendar – a rare time when major players in the Hospitality world can get together – and recognise the commitment to excellence that so many establishments and individuals strive to provide their guests. Drawing on the unrivalled knowledge and expertise of the AA inspectorate and other industry professionals involved in the judging process, winners are selected in recognition of excellence and success within their chosen category, having shown a significant improvement in the preceding 12– 18 months and proving their dedication to raising industry standards and enhancing both their guest and diner experiences.
From top hotels and restaurants to the best of British pubs the AA Hospitality Awards celebrate everything that is great in British hospitality. All the winners will appear in the latest edition of the 2015 AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guides which were launched at the event.
Last night’s winners include:
AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year 2014 (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.
Nathan’s career has gone a long way from his childhood days buttering toast to help his chef father with breakfast service in Kent. With spells in London, Cornwall and Gloucestershire under some of the industry’s great names, Nathan’s love of seafood, and his West Country wife, brought him back to Cornwall opening his first restaurant at the age of 24. Nathan has become a firm fixture in the Cornish restaurant world, as well as on our TV screens and is now helping chefs of the future at the Academy Nathan Outlaw.
AA Lifetime Achievement Award
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.
Over 25 years ago, Ruth Rogers, together with the late Rose Gray, started The River Café, inspired and influenced by their experience of living and cooking in Italy. With names like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver among her protégés and over a million cookery books sold, it is no wonder that Ruth Rogers’ name is synonymous with hearty rustic Italian cooking. Commenting on the award, Ruth said, ‘It is a great honour to be recognised for the work we all do at The River Café. I accept this award on behalf of my team and late partner Rose Gray.’
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 (sponsored by Temple Spa) – Dormy House, Broadway Winner, Wales – Ynyshir Hall, Eglwys Fach
- Winner, Scotland – Meldrum House Country Hotel, Aberdeen Winner, London (sponsored by BriefYourMarket) – Rosewood London, London
- Winner, Northern Ireland – The Bushmills Inn Hotel, Bushmills
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 – Sticky Walnut, Chester Winner, Wales – Bully’s, Cardiff
- Winner, Scotland – Timberyard, Edinburgh
- Winner, London (sponsored by Food & Travel Magazine) – Berners Tavern, London
AA Wine Award (sponsored by Matthew Clark)
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 and Overall – The Queensberry Hotel, Bath Winner
- Wales – The Grove, Narbeth
- Winner, Scotland – The Peat Inn, St Andrews AA Pub of the Year
Combining the provision of enjoyable food, a great pub atmosphere, and a warm welcome with a high standard of management
- Winner, England – The Pheasant, Gestingthorpe Winner
- Wales – Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd Winner
- Scotland – The Bridge Inn, Ratho
AA Small Hotel Group of the Year (sponsored by Beacon)
This award recognises the consistent dedication and development of a small hotel group in terms of improvement to service and operational standards. Eligible groups are assessed on quality of food and accommodation and efforts made to improve the overall guest experience.
- Winner – Eden Hotel Collection
AA Hotel Group of the Year
A hugely prestigious award presented in recognition of the hotel group that has a proven track record of striving to ensure the very best levels of service, food and accommodation across the range of properties. Attention to detail is imperative and a committed and structured approach to future development is essential.
AA Eco Hotel and Eco Hotel Group of the Year
These awards recognises a clear commitment to sustainability, demonstrated through good practice and policy to make a positive contribution to reducing impact on the environment
- Winner, Eco Hotel (sponsored by D-ENERGi) – Waterton Park Hotel Winner
- Eco Hotel Group – Red Carnation Hotels
AA Food Service Award
Introduced last year, the AA Food Service Award recognises establishments who not only deliver excellent standards of restaurant service and hospitality but also have technical service skills, food and beverage knowledge of the highest standard and a clear commitment to staff training and development.
- Winner – Galvin at Windows
AA Housekeeper of the Year Award (sponsored by Northmace & Hendon)
The award recognises outstanding commitment and performance, identifying a Housekeeper who goes above and beyond the call of duty.
- Winner – Geraldine Maursy - The Landmark
AA Spirit Award (sponsored by The Balvenie)
This award is new for 2014 and has been introduced to recognise the professional promotion, education and service of spirits in the hospitality industry.
- Winner – The Merchant Hotel, Belfast