The AA names the UK’s best hotels, pubs and restaurants in its 2019 Hospitality Awards

The winners of the 2019 hospitality Oscars have been named.

At a glittering awards ceremony hosted by the AA at Grosvenor House in London, gongs were handed out in categories including ‘hotel of the year’, ‘restaurant of the year’, ‘pub of the year’ and ‘chefs’ chef of the year’.

The 2019 Hospitality Awards winners were picked following 12 months of graft by AA inspectors, who travelled up and down the UK slumbering on executive mattresses, nibbling fine food and sipping fine wines. Here are the results…

Hotels

Hotel of the Year for England goes to Chewton Glen, pictured, in New Milton, Hampshire. The judges were impressed by the ‘luxurious and delightfully appointed’ bedrooms 

Hotel of the Year for England goes to Chewton Glen in New Milton, Hampshire.

The hotel is a five-star country house that boasts a spa as well as luxury treehouse accommodation.

The judges said: ‘Chewton Glen has been revitalised in recent years and the eco-friendly tree-houses point the hotel in a fresh and exciting direction. The extensive grounds include – in addition to activities like golf and croquet – a walled garden, which provides for the hotel kitchen, and is a feature in its own right.

‘Bedrooms are luxurious and delightfully appointed, while public areas are stylish and comfortable, the perfect place for traditional afternoon tea.’

Swanky: The Landmark London, pictured, picked up the gong for best London hotel

Swanky: The Landmark London, pictured, picked up the gong for best London hotel

The judges were wowed by The Landmark London's 'spectacular' naturally lit central atrium, pictured

The judges were wowed by The Landmark London’s ‘spectacular’ naturally lit central atrium, pictured

Hotel of the Year for Scotland goes to The Gleneagles Hotel, pictured, in Auchterarder. An AA judge said 'this grand hotel provides something for everyone'

Hotel of the Year for Scotland goes to The Gleneagles Hotel, pictured, in Auchterarder. An AA judge said ‘this grand hotel provides something for everyone’

The Hotel of the Year for Wales goes to The Grove in Narbeth, 'an elegant 17th-century country house set on a hillside in 26 acres of rolling countryside'

The Hotel of the Year for Wales goes to The Grove in Narbeth, ‘an elegant 17th-century country house set on a hillside in 26 acres of rolling countryside’

Northern Ireland's best hotel was named as The Fitzwilliam, Belfast, pictured

Northern Ireland’s best hotel was named as The Fitzwilliam, Belfast, pictured 

The Landmark, London picked up the gong for best London hotel, with the judges wowed by the property’s ‘spectacular’ naturally lit central atrium, ‘luxurious’ air-conditioned bedrooms and ‘large, stylish’ bathrooms.

The Hotel of the Year for Wales goes to The Grove in Narbeth, ‘an elegant 17th-century country house set on a hillside in 26 acres of rolling countryside’. 

The judges added: ‘The owners have lovingly restored the building with care, combining period features with excellent modern decor.’

Hotel of the Year for Scotland, meanwhile, goes to The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder.

An AA judge said: ‘With its international reputation for high standards, this grand hotel provides something for everyone. 

‘Set in 850 acres of glorious countryside, Gleneagles offers a peaceful retreat, as well as many sporting activities, including the famous championship golf courses.’

Hotel of the Year, Northern Ireland, has been claimed by The Fitzwilliam, Belfast, with the AA judges especially impressed by its ‘smart cocktail bar’ and ‘modern contemporary style bedrooms that are tastefully appointed’.

Restaurants

The Fordwich Arms in Canterbury, pictured, scooped the gong for Restaurant of Year, England

The Fordwich Arms in Canterbury, pictured, scooped the gong for Restaurant of Year, England

Restaurant of the Year, England, goes to the Fordwich Arms in Canterbury.

The judges said: ‘The 1930s country boozer with a terrace and garden looking over the River Stour was begging for a makeover, and that’s just what it got when high-flying young chef-patron Dan Smith took the helm in 2018 and immediately turned the place into a foodie destination. 

‘Smith’s cooking is firmly in the new-wave modern British camp, allying sharp technique with intriguing combinations of first-class materials.’

Restaurant of the Year, London, has been snagged by seafood eatery Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown thanks to its ‘dazzling seafood sharing-plates in the simple but brilliantly executed genre, backed by standout ingredients, flavour and balance’.

Restaurant of the Year, London, has been snagged by seafood eatery Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown, pictured

Restaurant of the Year, London, has been snagged by seafood eatery Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown, pictured 

Restaurant of the Year, Wales, goes to Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, pictured. The AA judges said: 'Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of Colwyn Bay'

Restaurant of the Year, Wales, goes to Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, pictured. The AA judges said: ‘Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of Colwyn Bay’  

Restaurant of the Year, Scotland, has been won by the Sugar Boat in Helensburgh, thanks in part to its 'marble-topped bar and viewable kitchen'

Restaurant of the Year, Scotland, has been won by the Sugar Boat in Helensburgh, thanks in part to its ‘marble-topped bar and viewable kitchen’

Restaurant of the Year, Wales, goes to Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias in Colwyn Bay.

The AA judges said: ‘Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of Colwyn Bay, and exposed steelwork, pendant lights and industrial-chic create the feeling of a hip, big-city eatery.’

Restaurant of the Year, Scotland, has been won by the Sugar Boat in Helensburgh, thanks to its ‘marble-topped bar and viewable kitchen’ and its ‘hearty modern bistro cooking’. 

Pubs

The Pub of the Year, England, accolade goes to Three Daggers in Edington, Wiltshire, which has its own microbrewery, farm and farm shop

The Pub of the Year, England, accolade goes to Three Daggers in Edington, Wiltshire, which has its own microbrewery, farm and farm shop

The Meikleour Arms, pictured, is named as Pub of the Year, Scotland, thanks to its 'extensive wine list'

The Meikleour Arms, pictured, is named as Pub of the Year, Scotland, thanks to its ‘extensive wine list’

The Pub of the Year, England, accolade goes to Three Daggers in Edington, Wiltshire.

‘A pub with its own microbrewery, farm and farm shop, The Three Daggers has plenty to offer locals and destination diners. Bare tables, mismatched wooden chairs, exposed brick and heritage colours add to the informal country pub feel, as does the seasonal modern cooking’, said the AA.

The Glynne Arms in Hawarden scooped the honours for best pub in Wales.

The AA said: ‘This fine-looking old coaching inn’s success is down to Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. Charlie’s great-great-grandfather was 19th-century prime minister Sir William Ewart Gladstone, who married into Hawarden Castle’s Glynne dynasty. Meat, fruit and vegetables come from the couple’s Estate Farm Shop down the road.’

In Scotland, it’s the Meikleour Arms, just north of Perth, that brings home the bacon for 2019.

According to the judges, it has an ‘extensive wine list with one of the pub’s owners coming from Bordeaux so expect some good clarets, as well as wines from off-the-beaten-track vineyards elsewhere’. 

Chefs’ Chef of the Year

Chef Jason Atherton, who won the award for chefs' chef of the year. He runs Pollen Street Social in London as well as 16 restaurants internationally

Chef Jason Atherton, who won the award for chefs’ chef of the year. He runs Pollen Street Social in London as well as 16 restaurants internationally

OTHER AA WINNERS… 

Spa of the Year – Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Eco Hotel of the Year – Carbis Bay Hotel, St Ives

Large Hotel Group – Park Plaza Group

Small Hotel Group – Inverlochy Castle Management International

Food Service Award – The Ritz, London

Wine Award – Hampton Manor, Solihull 

The AA also handed out an award for chefs’ chef of the year, which offers all AA Rosette-awarded chefs the chance ‘to decide which of their peers deserves the ultimate recognition of their performance over the past 12 months’.

Scooping the accolade this year is Jason Atherton, who runs Pollen Street Social in London as well as 16 restaurants internationally.

Simon Numphud, managing director of AA Media, said: ‘Jason is one of the UK’s most respected and successful chefs, a reputation hard-earned through his relentless commitment and passion for his craft.

‘Given his success and commitment to the industry, he is an inspiration to many and hence no surprise that the AA rosette chef community has voted for him to become this year’s AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year.’

 


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