The cream of the crop

Scottish venues scoop AA Awards gongs

The Dining Room team accepting their AA Hospitality Award

A RAFT of Scottish venues have been recognised at this year’s AA Hospitality Awards.

Held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel late last month (September 25),  the ceremony saw awards handed out to five venues north of the border, as well as various outlets acquiring multi-rosette status.

Winners on the night included The Bow Bar, Edinburgh, which was crowned AA Pub of the Year – Scotland; The Dining Room, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Edinburgh, which was awarded AA Restaurant of the Year – Scotland; The Douneside House, Aboyne, which picked up Hotel of the Year – Scotland; Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Auchterarder, which was bestowed the AA Wine Award – Scotland; and The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye, which was handed the AA Food Service Award.

Elsewhere on the night, various Scottish venues were awarded multi-rosette status.

Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, Alexandria, gained four rosettes, while those that acquired three rosettes include  Inver Restaurant, Strachur (last year’s AA Restaurant of the Year – Scotland); Douneside House, Tarland; and Crossbasket Castle, Blantyre.

Mike Smith, manager of the Bow Bar, Edinburgh, said winning the Pub of the Year accolade “is a real honour”.

“Managing an independent bar allows for a lot more creativity, so we put a lot of energy into making a simple formula a success,” he said.

“To be recognised for these efforts is a real honour, and we are grateful to be named the ‘Best Pub in Scotland’.”

Commenting on The Douneside House’s hotel win, general manager Marcel Wassen said he and the team “are absolutely delighted to win this award”.

“It is a reflection of the hard work of the whole team; without their dedication, commitment and passion this would not have been possible,” he said.

And celebrating the restaurant of the year title, Jan-Willem Damen, operations director of The Dining Room at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said the award “is a recognition of 12 years of unwavering dedication by a kitchen team led throughout by executive chef James Freeman, to create stunning dishes with locally sourced Scottish ingredients”.

Freeman added that the award “is a huge honour for me personally and my team at The Dining Room… to see the restaurant recognised in this way is extremely rewarding”.