Capital cleans up at AA awards

Edinburgh venues snag all but one Scottish prize at ceremony

Staff from The Witchery by The Castle with Krishnan Guru-Murphy.
Staff from The Witchery by The Castle with Krishnan Guru-Murphy.

EDINBURGH operators dominated this year’s AA Hospitality Awards, taking all but one of the Scottish prizes awarded.

The Witchery by The Castle was the most successful Scottish venue at the event, taking both the Scottish and UK-wide Wine Award.
Fellow Edinburgh venues Ondine Restaurant and The Sheep Heid Inn took the Scottish Restaurant and Pub of the Year awards respectively.
The only winner to come from outside the capital, Cringletie House in Peebles, won the Scottish Hotel of the Year award.
As well as the awards trophies, the event – at the London Hilton on Park Lane – also saw the AA name the new recipients of its higher Rosette accreditation, with two Scottish venues securing three AA Rosette status.
The Pompadour by Galvin at The Caledonian hotel in Edinburgh and Glennap Castle in Ballantrae, South Ayrshire, were both awarded three AA Rosettes.
Chris Galvin, who runs The Pompadour with brother Jeff, said he was “thrilled” to receive the accolade.
“We congratulate the whole team in Edinburgh for their efforts, in particular executive chef Craig Sandle,” said Galvin.
“Craig has been instrumental in marrying our signature style with some of the best Scottish ingredients to deliver a world-class dining experience north of the border.
Simon Numphud, manager of AA Hotel Services, said: “Restaurants serving food of a three Rosette standard are worthy of recognition from well beyond their local area and I am delighted that these very deserving restaurants have been acknowledged for their efforts.”
All of the award winners are featured in the 2014 AA guides to UK hotels, restaurants, pubs and B&Bs, which were launched at the event.
Other winners at the ceremony, which was hosted by Channel 4 News’ Krishnan Guru-Murphy, included chef Tom Kerridge, who won the AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year award, and Harry Murray, chairman of Lucknam Park Hotel in Wiltshire, who won the AA Lifetime Achievement award.
Murray was recognised for his 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry and his work at the Lucknam Park, which has five AA Red Stars and three AA Rosettes.
Kerridge currently runs the Hand and Flowers in Harlow, the first pub to be awarded two Michelin stars.